Sophocles' Clever Use of Dramatic Irony in Oedipus the King Essay

Sophocles' Clever Use of Dramatic Irony in Oedipus the King Essay

Length: 840 words (2.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Dramatic irony depends on the audience’s knowing something that the character does not, and in this play the audience knows Oedipus faith before he knows it himself. In this play there are several parts where Sophocles conveys his plot through dramatic irony. Dramatic irony underlines how partial human perceptive can be even when it is most reasonable and how agonizing it can be to be the costs of the misinterpretation, in some sense foreseeable. Dramatic irony is also use by Sophocles to make the audience feel their taken part of the play knowing the fate of the main character, making the audience wait in suspense wanting to know how Oedipus would react to his fate. The other use of the dramatic irony was to foreshadow which is a key component of great literature.
My edition is a little different than the required text, so the lines numbers and wording is a little different. The first dramatic irony point of the text was in the begging with Oedipus conversation with the priest. Oedipus opens the play speaking of the sickness of the people of the city and the sickness of himself. The city asks him to rid the city of this plague or sickness. He tells the city only end when the murderer of Laius, the former King of Thebes is banished. At this point the dramatic irony is arousal as Oedipus himself is the cause of this sickness outspread. Sophicles use of dramatic irony leaves the audience is tension because they know Oedipus is the murderer and they want to know what will happen next when Oedipus finds out that he is the actual killer. And when the audience or reader is constantly questioning and want to know what going to happen then the work outcome is interesting and attentive. “As for the murderer himself, I call down a curse ...

... middle of paper ...

...ters as he went off to exile in where his parents intended on the wild hills of Kithairon. By Oedipus blinding himself he is punishing himself and creates the ability to posses more knowledge and ability to see like Teiresias.
Sophocles cleverly uses dramatic irony to help communicate his plot by retain the attention of the readers and audience. In this play he uses dramatic irony is several scenes. Again dramatic irony is when audience knows something the main character does not. In this piece the irony of being blind and being able to see physically but not being able to see the truth of your own life is the causation of this entire play. The plague he bring to his land and cursing himself by making a vow to find the killer and destroy him is ironic but at the same time the audience sees drama since they know he has cursed himself and is out to destroy himself.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Dramatic Scene Illustrated in Shakespeare's King Lear - Storm Scene Essay

- Shakespeare’s King Lear offers its audience an impossible number of dramatic and memorable scenes, but I have chosen the storm scenes in Act III Scenes 1, 2 and 4 as my key dramatic scenes. The storm provides a dramatic centre to the play. It is used to bring about change, to represent Lear’s inner unrest, to symbolise the power of nature and to expose the play’s characters under the intolerant conditions of thunder and lightning. The scenes in which the storm takes place are very different to those which precede and follow them....   [tags: literary techniques, scene analysis]

Better Essays
887 words (2.5 pages)

The Dramatic Importance of Antonio and Sebastian Essay

- The Dramatic Importance of Antonio and Sebastian Antonio and Sebastian are dramatically significant in the play for several reasons. Shakespeare has used them to represent several themes and human characteristics for comparison within the play. He presents them in a number of ways and their relationships with other characters are objects of great interest to the audience. Although they are the representatives of the evil in human nature and the lack of repent they also provide great humour in the play....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
820 words (2.3 pages)

Essay about The Dramatic Effect of Act 5 Scene 1 on the Play Macbeth

- The Dramatic Effect of Act 5 Scene 1 on the Play Macbeth In this scene the doctor and the gentlewoman wait for Lady Macbeth as it was reported to the doctor that she had been sleepwalking on previous occasions - "since her majesty returned from the field, I have seen her rise from her bed". It is reported by the gentlewoman that every time Lady Macbeth sleepwalks she writes something on paper and she had also seen Lady Macbeth continuously perform an action of washing her hands vigorously....   [tags: Papers]

Free Essays
678 words (1.9 pages)

Irony in Oedipus the King Essay

- 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....   [tags: Oedipus Rex, Sophocles]

Better Essays
545 words (1.6 pages)

Essay about Fool in William Shakespeare's King Lear

- Fool in William Shakespeare's King Lear The Fool’s function in King Lear is to create emphasis on the tragedy in the play and give insight into the characters’ true nature. He shows other characters’ nature though blunt comments and earns himself the name of ‘all-licensed Fool’, as he clearly states peoples’ inner personality. He develops the tragedy though a theme of madness and instability, from his use of poems and rhymes intermingled with standard prose, which even then is full of cryptic phrases and drivel....   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
1107 words (3.2 pages)

Oedipus the King: The Tragic Flaws Of Oedipus Essay

- The ancient Greeks were fond believers of Fate. Fate, defined according to Webster’s, is “the principle or determining cause or will by which things in general are believed to come to be as they are or events to happen as the do.” The Greeks take on Fate was slightly modified. They believed that the gods determined Fate: “…fate, to which in a mysterious way the gods themselves were subject, was an impersonal force decreeing ultimate things only, and unconcerned with day by day affairs.” It was thought that these gods worked in subtle ways; this accounts for character flaws (called harmatia in Greek)....   [tags: Oedipus Rex, Sophocles]

Free Essays
1052 words (3 pages)

Comparing Martin Luther King's Techniques in his Speeches and My Own

- Comparing Martin Luther King's Techniques in his Speeches and My Own As with any speech, it is popular opinion that the opening sentences define the standard of what is to come; I feel that Martin Luther King and I take different approaches to this, both of which are very successful. In both of King's speeches, the opening lines are emboldened through clever emphasis of passionate, repetitive imperatives: the repetition being found in the imperative itself in King's "I have a dream" speech: "Go back… go back… go back…", whilst in his "… Promised land speech", the repetition being in the subject of each clause, before each varying imperative: "Let us riseâ€...   [tags: Papers]

Better Essays
910 words (2.6 pages)

Use of Dramatic Irony in Oedipus the King Essay

- In the play "Oedipus the King" by Sophocles, the author presents us with several instances of dramatic irony. Dramatic irony occurs when the meaning of the situation is understood by the audience but not by the characters in the play. Dramatic irony plays an important part in "Oedipus the King", because it is used to describe Oedipus' character as arrogant and blind toward the truth. The audience is expected to understand Oedipus' history well before he does. In the first three episodes, Oedipus uses a lot of dramatic irony in his speeches....   [tags: Oedipus Rex Essays]

Free Essays
406 words (1.2 pages)

Dramatic Irony in Sophocles' Oedipus the King Essay

- 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....   [tags: Oedipus King Oedipus Rex Essays Papers]

Better Essays
967 words (2.8 pages)

The Use of Dramatic Irony in Sophocle's Oedipus the King Essay

- The Use of Dramatic Irony in Sophocle's Oedipus the King Tragedy as an element of the human experience has been the subject of many of the great works of literature written in the Western tradition. For some, tragedy embodies the highest form of humanity. It is through suffering that we are able to reveal ourselves most completely. Others see tragedy as an element of morality where we are to learn well the lessons of those who tempt the gods. The Ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle, outlined a theory of tragedy as archetypal drama in his classic work, the Poetics....   [tags: Oedipus Rex, Sophocles]

Better Essays
2382 words (6.8 pages)