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Essay On Irony In Oedipus The King

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Irony in Oedipus Rex Oedipus Rex, by the Greek playwright Sophocles, is, without a doubt, one of the greatest examples of dramatic irony. There are many instances where the audience knows so much more than the main characters, and Sophocles uses irony to point to Oedipus as Laius' murderer as well. Additionally, Oedipus is most definitely a tragic hero-he had a tragic flaw, namely that he was relentless and often rash in his search for the truth about Laius' death and his killer; this ultimately lead to Oedipus' own destruction. He also refuses to compromise or humble himself before others and stubbornly refuses to allow others to express different opinions from their own. Oedipus is so arrogant and self-confident that he…show more content…

Additionally, it is extremely ironic that Teiresias is blind. His old age represents his wisdom, and his physical blindness is ironic because he is able to see the reality in Oedipus' situation. Conversely, Oedipus is not physically blind, but is unable to see the truth. During the play Teiresias reminds Oedipus of his ability to solve the riddle of the Sphinx in the past, and he presents another riddle. The irony of the riddles is that although Oedipus had solved the first one to lift Thebes' plague, he did not realize that it was symbolic of his own life. To contribute to the irony, Oedipus curses Laius' murderer and vows to avenge the former king's death. He is virtually condemning himself. His speeches foreshadow his imminent doom- he is destined by the gods to be a victim, and there is nothing he can do to escape the fate he once learned of from the oracle.

As a tragic hero, Oedipus is the classic definition. He has many characteristics of a great leader- strong, upright, clever, proud, arrogant, etc. However, these attributes also add to his downfall. He makes, rash, hasteful decisions at times, especially in front of the people. When Teiresias and Creon encourage him to speak privately of what they have discovered, he refuses to listen because he cannot imagine that it would possibly regard a matter that would defame him. Oedipus is shocked when Teiresias tells him the truth, and then reverses the accusation by declaring that Teiresias

Dramatic Irony In Sophocles' Oedipus The King

Dramatic Irony in Sophocles' Oedipus the King

Oedipus the King is a Greek tragedy written by Sophocles.  Sophocles knowing that his audience is aware of the outcome of the play utilizes that knowledge to create various situations in which dramatic irony play key roles.  Dramatic irony is when the audience knows the tragic truth before the characters do.  Through his use of irony Sophocles manages to avoid  retelling an old tale, though the audience is cognizant of the story's end they are intrigued by the irony present in the story.  Sophocles made liberal use of irony. By doing this he tantalized the viewer into wanting to see how the events that occurred later would mentally affect the main character, in this case Oedipus.

            Oedipus is self-confident, intelligent, and strong willed. Ironically these are the very traits which bring about his tragic discovery.  Because of these traits Oedipus was able to solve the riddle given to him by the Sphinx.  When this riddle was solved he acquired great popularity and power.  He was then challanged into a riddle of his own where he had to find out the truth of his past and the fate of his future.  By solving this riddle he lost all the power and glory, left to be exiled and become a beggar in another land.  If Oedipus had not been so determined to escape and prevent the prophecy by the Oracle, he would not have fulfilled it. Possibly, he was doomed to fulfill the prophecy because he believed he could avoid it. Nevertheless, his fate was sealed by his actions of pride and determination. His pride of conquering the Sphinx led him to the marriage of Jocasta, his mother. When avenging Jocasta's previous husband, and his true father, King Laius' death, he was blinded by his pride to the concept that perhaps he was the murderer.

            Two of the most note worthy parts of Dramatic Irony in Oedipus the King is how both Jocasta and Oedipus are trying to differ the prophecy of the Oracle.  In both cases, the Oracle's prophecy comes true regardless of the characters' actions.   Jocasta and Laius's thought of successfully killing their child at birth so the Oracle's prophecy could not happen and Oedipus's believing that if he fled Corinth, he would not be able to kill his father. Jocasta kills her son only to find him alive and married to her. Oedipus leaves Corinth only to find that in doing this he has found his real parents and carried out the oracle's words.   Oedipus strongly believes that he has beaten the prophecy, only to find that the oracles were right after all.  Even the manner in which Oedipus and Jocasta express their disbelief in the Oracle is ironic. In an attempt to comfort Oedipus, Jocasta tells him that the Oracle is powerless; yet at the beginning of the very...

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