Irony in Oedipus Rex

In: English and Literature

Submitted By nooshin
Words 651
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Oedipus Rex is a Greek tragedy written by Sophocles. In this play, he developed dramatic irony to a high level. Dramatic irony occurs when the audience knows the tragic truth before it disclose to the characters within the story. There are many examples of the irony in this play, which play the key role through the story. The main dramatic irony in this play is that everyone in the audience knows from the beginning of the play that Oedipus has killed his father and married his mother. In this play, Sophocles uses irony to create sense of sadness and agony in the audience.

At the very beginning of the play, when Oedipus found out about the previous Thebes' king, Laios, he says, "I learned of him from others; I never saw him.” The very first irony that comes out to the audience is that Oedipus actually saw Laios when he killed him, and the worse feeling that audience experience is how sad it is that a son does not know anything about his father and knows a little from others.

Another example of irony in this play comes when Oedipus announces, "Whoever killed King Laios might--who knows?--decide at any moment to kill me as well. By avenging the murdered king I protect myself." The irony is that Oedipus is the King killer, and now he wants

to retaliate the king murderer to protect himself from the killer; how is that possible to kill the murderer and protect himself even though they are the same person. In that proclaim, he is very solicitous to find and punish the murderer, therefore he can prevent the killer to get rid of the present king, who is Oedipus, and taking the kingship. He actually did this to the king Laios and become the Thebes king after the laios, and of course on that moment he does not know what he did to the laios.

In another part of the play, there is a very brief irony when Oedipus says that “I say I take the son's part, just as though I…...

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