The Importance of Dramatic Irony in Oedipus

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The Importance of Dramatic Irony in Oedipus the King From the Roman writings of Cicero to the Russian writings of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, literature has been growing and stemming from many famous origins. One of the great originators of literature that is seen in our current society is Ancient Greece. Greek literature is famous for its writers, Aristotle, Sophocles, Plato, etc., as well as, various genres of literature, which ranged from comedy to tragedy to drama. There is a combination of one writer and one genre that I will be focusing on in this paper and that is Sophocles and his great tragedy, Oedipus the King. This play, however is not a simple tragedy, it is a branch of theater that we know as dramatic irony. Dramatic irony is defined as the discrepancy between what the characters of a drama know and what the audience knows, what is being said in the play that we know has a different meaning than it has for the characters in the play. This form of theatrical literature is seen over and over again in Oedipus the King. Oedipus sets forth on a mission that is very unknown to him, but very obvious for the audience, thus simplifying the importance of dramatic irony in this play. In Oedipus the King, Oedipus’ ignorance and the audience’s knowledge work hand-in-hand together to give a greater understanding of dramatic irony. The theatrical play on dramatic irony doesn’t only play a role on the characters, but the audience and the reader as well. Oedipus the King is one of the Three Great Theban Plays written by Sophocles. The play begins in the town of Thebes and its suffering from within, and Oedipus, the King of Thebes, sends a priest off to the heavens to discover the reasoning behind the suffering. The priest returns and says that the god, Apollo, told him that the reason for this suffering was because one of the murderers of the former King, Laius, still…...

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