An Emblematic Greek Tragedy

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Greek mythology and performances are often based off the evidence of calamitous and catastrophic epics, usually called tragedies. An archetypal tragedy is a disastrous play that directly follows the phases of a typical tragedy, and induces a plot revolving around one specific event aimed at one or more protagonists. An archetypal tragedy includes a protagonist that experiences a completion of an ideal, fatal faults, and ardor realizations and intuitions. In Oedipus, an epic written by Sophocles, Oedipus becomes known as the protagonist with harmful circumstances perspiring around his fate. Sophocles introduces Oedipus as a tragic character by inducing hubris and dramatic irony as key components to his downfall. Oedipus’ hubris can directly relate to his determination in finding Lauis’ killer because of his physical actions taken upon other suspects, assuming he himself is not someone to add to the equation. Dramatic irony augments Oedipus’ search for truth and justice; these indication mold the structure for a typical Greek tragedy.

The use of dramatic irony in Oedipus make up a key component of an archetypal tragedy by offering its audience knowledge before the climax is reached. Sophocles uses dramatic irony to develop the play, by introducing Oedipus’ hardships directly at the beginning: “For who knows, tomorrow this selfsame murderer / may turn his bloody hands on me. / The cause of Laius therefore is my own” (Sophocles 11). At this point in the story, Oedipus is well aware of Laius’ disappearance, but is unaware that he is the source of his explicit agony. Another example of dramatic irony that influences Sophocles tragedy would be when Oedipus bickers with Tiresias over the true killer. Tiresias mentions, “I tell you this...

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...eveloped into a full out tragedy. This incorporation of incidents induces a sense of apprehension, where the audience easily realizes Oedipus’ fate, and lethal flaw. Oedipus’ hubris indeed becomes an undeniable fact influencing the protagonists turn of events. Every institution of self-righteous comments appears to have an enormous effect on the structural molding of the play itself. Many of the protagonist’s feelings and acknowledgements seem to underline the phases expressed in an indicative play or plot. Sophocles was right in coaxing a more understandable exposition where the audience knows of the fatal future, and in doing so successfully applies Oedipus’ hardships and weaknesses as an essential and vital allotment to an archetypal tragedy.

Works Cited

Sophocles. Oedipus the King. (translated by David Grene) Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, 1991.
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