Among the abundance of dramatic irony inserted into Sophocles’ tragedy, the two most prominent examples are found in the search for Laius’ killer and in Oedipus’ parental confusion. Most viewers already know the story of Oedipus and how he is destined to murder his father and marry his mother. They also understand that those predictions come true before the play starts. The production then begins when the plague hits Thebes and the only way to get rid of it is to find and punish Laius’ killer. Oedipus, in an attempt to save Thebes as he previously did with the Sphinx, questions everyone over the matter and tells someone to come forward and confess. He even goes and curses whoever the killer is, saying, “Upon the murderer I invoke this curse—whether he is one man and all unknown, or one of many—may he wear out his life in misery to miserable doom!” (Sophoc...
... middle of paper ...
...me that no single human can contain all of life’s knowledge without dealing with major chaos and consequences. If Oedipus stopped trying to learn everything about himself and the people of Thebes, he would not have had such a tragic ending to his life. Most of the things that the audience knows, Oedipus would have been better off without knowing. Since he digs deep to uncover every truth, he has to deal with the fact that he killed his father and married his mother. Jocasta kills herself upon hearing the news and Oedipus claws his eyes out, blinding himself. If he had just minded his business and went on with his life without needing to know every fact of it, it would have been much better than how it turned out to be. Dramatic irony plays a major role in driving the plot of Oedipus the King, conveying its theme, and leading to the tragic downfall of Oedipus himself.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Dramatic irony is a commonly used literary device where the audience understands something that some of the characters may be oblivious to. Among the many playwrights who have employed dramatic irony in their plays, Sophocles is highly popularized for his use of it in his tragedy Oedipus the King. When using this literary device, Sophocles does so to highlight Oedipus’ tragic flaw of ignorance. Throughout the entire play, Oedipus is trying to figure out mysteries such as who his real parents are and who killed Laius.... [tags: Oedipus, Sophocles, Oedipus the King, Truth]
788 words (2.3 pages)
- Oedipus the King is a Greek tragedy written by Sophocles around five-hundred BC. The play is set in the royal house of Thebes and is about how King Oedipus, who is portrayed as a reasonable and respected ruler by the citizens of Thebes, is trying to find out the answers to the murder of the previous King, Laius. The citizens are dying from a plague that has inhabited the city with no end in sight. King Oedipus sends his brother-in-law, Creon, to the city of Delphi, where Apollo the Prophet’s oracle is located, to find out how to help the city.... [tags: Oedipus, Tragedy, Sophocles, Oedipus the King]
2357 words (6.7 pages)
- Sophocles remains one of the most outstanding playwrights of the classical period. Sophocles had a way of tabling his characters linking their actions with the thematic concerns in his literary oeuvres. The stylistic devices and the use of diverse character traits always made most of his artistic work thrilling. Oedipus the King is one of the most exciting masterpieces Sophocles has ever authored. Oedipus the King explores the role of fate, pride and the possible consequences of one’s actions about the societal myths and norms.... [tags: Oedipus, Sophocles, Tragedy, Oedipus the King]
1385 words (4 pages)
- The play, “Oedipus the King” by Sophocles will show the tragic destiny of Oedipus; the King of Thebes. In the beginning, the play slowly starts to unfold until Oedipus realizes a mistake, and downwards spiral begins. The play will convey how “tragic power resides in human failing” (Walton). Although Oedipus did not intentional kill, his father and marry his mother. The author’s view of a tragic hero as seen in the play, “Oedipus the King” will exemplify Aristotle’s definition of a tragic hero.... [tags: Destiny, Downfall, Greek]
1319 words (3.8 pages)
- The organization of downfall in Shakespearean tragedy borrows much from that of Greek tragedy. The points of variation between the two forms of the genre are often drawn not in tangible literary differences, but in premise of manner of downfall. One distinction observed between the two dramas is that of the roles of destiny or lack thereof. The disputed definition of hamartia helps explain and expand this. Either type of tragedy can be distinguished by the feature of a hamartia, a tragic flaw and ultimate determinant of a hero’s downfall, as being built on by an unavoidable force or event, as opposed to being directly caused by a hero’s wrongdoings, or vise versa.... [tags: Tragic hero, Poetics, Tragedy, Sophocles]
933 words (2.7 pages)
- Tragedy in Sophocles' Oedipus The King and Antigone The Greeks considered tragedy the greatest form for literature. However, the tragic ends for the characters were not ordained or set by fate, but rather caused by certain characteristics belonging to that person. Such is the case with the characters of Sophocles' plays Oedipus the King and Antigone. Oedipus from King Oedipus, and Antigone and Creon from Antigone posses characteristics, especially pride, that caused their tragic ends. As the play progress, other characteristics appear and further add to the problem to such a point that it is inevitable that it will end in tragedy. Therefore the tragedies were not a result of a plot b... [tags: Sophocles Oedipus King Antigone Essays]
1405 words (4 pages)
- The Greek play Oedipus Rex by Sophocles is known most famously for being an excellent portrayal of Greek tragedy. In the Poetics, philosopher Aristotle praises Sophocles for meeting his criteria of what makes up a perfect tragedy. The play follows an Aristotelian plot consisting of a scene of recognition, a reversal of situation and scenes of suffering. The play must also have the perfect tragic hero. They must be a superior individual without being too perfect, otherwise, their inevitable downfall would come across as unwarranted.... [tags: Sophocles, Tragedy, Oedipus the King, Oedipus]
992 words (2.8 pages)
- The fundamentals that make Oedipus the King an “Aristotelian tragedy” revolve around the key notions of harmartia, peripety, anagnorisis and catharsis. However, to fully understand these key notions, one must understand what Aristotle defines as a tragedy. In Aristotle’s words, “A tragedy is the imitation of an action that is serious and also, as having magnitude, complete in itself; in appropriate and pleasurable language;... in a dramatic rather than narrative form; with incidents arousing pity and fear, wherewith to accomplish a catharsis of these emotions” (Aristotle).... [tags: Oedipus, Oedipus the King, Tragedy, Sophocles]
1092 words (3.1 pages)
- Oedipus the King Oedipus the King is a popular Greek play also known by its Latin title Oedipus Rex. Oedipus was written by Sophocles and was first performed in 429 BC. Over the thousands of years since its publication, Oedipus the King has been reviewed and analyzed by several renowned scholars who have all conceded that it is one of the best tragic drama pieces that draw their descent from ancient Greece (Rao, Wolf and Sophocles). This paper is a critical review of the ideas that the author of this drama had in mind as he was writing it.... [tags: Oedipus the King, Oedipus, Sophocles, Tragedy]
1401 words (4 pages)
- Oedipus arrives at Thebes and finds the city under the curse of the Sphinx who will not free the city unless the riddle is answered. Oedipus solves the riddle and is rewarded and made king. Laius, former king, has been killed and Oedipus has married the widowed queen, Iokaste. Now another plague is raging and the people of Thebes have asked Oedipus to rescue them. Kreon, Iokaste's brother returns from Apollo's oracle with the news that Laius's murder must be punished in order to rid the city of the plague.... [tags: Oedipus Rex Essays]
629 words (1.8 pages)