The plot of Oedipus Rex uses dramatic irony as a key narrative element. From beginning to the end, Sophocles expose the audience to irony. The result is both shocking and devastating for multiple main characters. Oedipus, for example, states the weight of the punishment Laius’ killer will face. This builds irony because Oedipus is Laius’ killer, but he does not realize it yet. As realization of Oedipus’ crime against the Greek gods begins to set in, so does the climax and resolution of the irony. Overall, Sophocles’ use of dramatic irony is integral to both the progress of the play and to its climax.
Throughout most famous Greek literature, a great hero usually saves the day. In the story of Oedipus though, the good man with one minor flaw goes through great pain. This pain in the play Oedipus Rex is the focal point for the whole play. Almost every aspect of the play builds up and foreshadows Oedipus’ fall from power, and entry into pain. Sophocles in his tragedy Oedipus Rex creates a mood of dramatic irony using the dualities of sight and blindness, and light and darkness. This dramatic irony highlights Oedipus’ hamartia and in doing so Sophocles enhances his message that arrogance and is wrong.
The ritual in this story is a lottery where everyone in the town gathers to pick a piece of paper out of a black box. The black box that has been passed down from a long line of ancestors, it is symbolic because it represents death. One member from each family in the village comes up and picks a piece of paper from the black box. One of the pieces of papers is marked with a black dot and whichever family gets the paper with the black dot has to put the paper back. Then the whole family gets to pick again and whoever gets the black dot will be stoned to death as a sacrifice. In “The Lottery” death is symbolized using the color black; the black box, the black dot and the rituals of stoning one to death all represent death. Old man Warner would say “Lottery in June, corn be heavy soon”. This quote symbolizes death, meaning that if someone is sacrificed, the crops will be plentiful. The towns’ people do not want to change the ways of their ancestors’ rituals, as they have been listening to the oldest man in the town talk about how it would change the ways of
In the two thousand since “Oedipus Rex” was written, it has been analyzed and dissected innumerable times and in every possible way. Usually the analysis has been within the context of the play itself or within the context of other Greek tragedies. Perhaps it would be more relevant and interesting to evaluate the play within the context of the modern world.
What if we lived in a world where a small piece of paper was considered the Angel of Death? Where your neighbors would turn on you in an instance because a small black box “prophesized” them to? When true human nature is shown before you are cast into the blackness of death? Shirley Jackson’s “The Lottery” is a short story in which villagers gather once a year with a black box to perform a lottery that decides just that. The head male of each family must draw till someone has the black dot that decides which family will draw next. The “winner” in that family is then stoned to death by everyone in the village, including their own family. The story has multiple hidden messages that are hard to distinguish from the text. Each message shows a side of human nature that most people believe they do not have. By using literary analysis, Shirley Jackson’s messages become
There is overwhelming evidence corroborating the notion that the perplexity as well as bewilderment underlying man’s destiny along with his deeds is what may qualify Sophocles “Oedipus” as a real human tragedy in the sense that the whole story is about mysterious and enigmatic inquiries about truth as well as human tragedy.
Even before this story begins, irony is brewing and continues throughout the pages. The creative author is using this enticing technique as a backbone for his play, and also as a key component in foreshadowing the tragic plot. Oedipus Rex by Sophocles is filled with many different ironies, so much so, that this reoccurring element tremendously affects the outcome of the story.
Encompassing a wide variety of emotion, an Athenian tragedy can be described as a mixed bag of “compelling stories about human relationships, whose melodramatic plots invite us to think about profound issues…” according to the Norton Anthology of World Literature. (644) It is the ability to manipulate human circumstances in the most outlandish way that grabs an audience’s attention; while the articulation and careful consideration with plot structure and dialogue leaves an audience to ponder long after the story is over. Sophocles took this idea and ran with it when he wrote Oedipus the King, arguably one of the most popular Athenian tragedies ever written. The Norton Anthology of World Literature provides support to this claim by explaining that, “Aristotle descr...
Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannus can be argued that it is related loosely to Rita Dove's The Darker Face of the Earth. This comparative and contrasting characteristics that can be seen within both plays make the reader/audience more aware of imagery, the major characters, plot, attitudes towards women, and themes that are presented from two very different standpoints. The authors Sophocles and Dove both have a specific goal in mind when writing the two plays. In this paper I will take a closer look of the two, comparing and contrasting the plays with the various elements mentioned previously.
“The Lottery,” written by Shirley Jackson in 1948, is a provoking piece of literature about a town that continues a tradition of stoning, despite not know why the ritual started in the first place. As Jackson sets the scene, the villagers seem ordinary; but seeing that winning the lottery is fatal, the villagers are then viewed as murders by the reader. Disagreeing with the results of the lottery, Tessie Hutchinson is exposed to an external conflict between herself and the town. Annually on June 27th, the villagers gather to participate in the lottery. Every head of household, archetypally male, draws for the fate of their family, but Tessie protests as she receives her prize of a stoning after winning the lottery. Jackson uses different symbols – symbolic characters, symbolic acts, and allegories – to develop a central theme: the
The great Sophoclean play, Oedipus Rex is an amazing play, and one of the first of its time to accurately portray the common tragic hero. Written in the time of ancient Greece, Sophocles perfected the use of character flaws in Greek drama with Oedipus Rex. Using Oedipus as his tragic hero, Sophocles’ plays forced the audience to experience a catharsis of emotions. Sophocles showed the play-watchers Oedipus’s life in the beginning as a “privileged, exalted [person] who [earned his] high repute and status by…intelligence.” Then, the great playwright reached in and violently pulled out the audience’s most sorrowful emotions, pity and fear, in showing Oedipus’s “crushing fall” from greatness.