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Dramatic irony in Oedipus.

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Word Count = 1140 with quotes Kelvin Mu ENG4U1 - 03 Mrs. Marks October 9th, 2003 SKELETON ESSAY: DRAMATIC IRONY IN OEDIPUS Aristotle, the ancient Greek philosopher claimed that a good tragic play must arouse pity from the audience, adding that the best way to accomplish this was through the usage of dramatic irony. In the play, Oedipus the King by the Greek playwright Sophocles, we are able to witness the presence of dramatic irony as it helps develop meaning in the text. Dramatic irony is delivered in a way that allows the audience to be exposed deeper into the play. Within this setting, we notice that the outcome of the story is revealed to the audience, whereas the hero is blindly stumbling into the hole filled with fate and misery. In Oedipus the King, dramatic irony is used effectively to demonstrate and emphasize a character's disloyalty, ignorance, and blindness. 1st Argument: - In Oedipus the King, dramatic irony is incorporated into the text to emphasize Oedipus's and Jocasta's disloyalty towards the Gods. - To demonstrate their unfaithfulness, Oedipus and Jocasta continually reject the prophecies that the oracles deliver. ...read more.


2nd Argument: - Dramatic irony is applied in King Oedipus to display and emphasize Oedipus's ignorance and foolishness. - Oedipus is extremely intelligent (he was the only person capable of solving the Sphinx's riddle); yet it is also what makes him tragic; his problem solving and persistent mind leads him on as he works through the mystery of his birth - Jocasta: Doomed man! O never live to learn the truth! Oedipus: Go, someone; fetch the shepherd. Leave the lady to enjoy her pride of birth - Furthermore, after Oedipus solved the Sphinx's riddle, his price was the marriage to Jocasta. - Thus, Oedipus's intelligence, a trait that brings Oedipus to the high throne, is what also causes him to commit a heinous sin, and later, causes him to reveal the whole story. - One would think a man of great intelligence such as Oedipus would be very careful about whom he marries or kills when a disturbing prophecy is thrown at him. - Ironically, Oedipus cannot use his intelligence to control the way he conducts himself. Consequently, he kills someone old enough to be his father, and marries someone old enough to be his mother. ...read more.


Dramatic irony is present here since Oedipus realizes the truth although he has become blind. Oedipus has switched roles with Teiresias, becoming a man who sees the truth and loses his sense of sight. - Another example of dramatic irony was when Oedipus accuses Creon of conspiracy "Did you suppose I wanted eyes to see? The pot preparing, wits to counter it?" pg. 40 - Ironically, Oedipus in fact lacks the capacity to understand what is happening, and the more he tries to solve the mystery, the more blind he becomes. - In conclusion, Sophocles does an excellent job of incorporating dramatic irony to show that Oedipus, is indeed, totally blind to the truth. In the play Oedipus the King, a character's blindness, ignorance, and disloyalty are accentuated through the usage of dramatic irony. There is no doubt that dramatic irony acts as an important purpose in the play. It is capable of making an audience feel excited and engaged. Nevertheless, dramatic irony is essential in great tragedies, and surely, its incredible effects are found in Oedipus. How ironic - a play consisting of a sin so appalling, evil, and horrific can turn out to be one of the most distinguished masterpiece of Greek drama! - ...read more.

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