• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

What literary techniques and themes do Sophocles and Marquez use to portray dramatic irony in Oedipus the King and Chronicle of a Death Foretold?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

What literary techniques and themes do Sophocles and Marquez use to portray dramatic irony in Oedipus the King and Chronicle of a Death Foretold? Imagery of blindness and sight in Oedipus the King contributes to dramatic irony in three ways. The repetitive sight and blindness imagery is used by Sophocles to foreshadow the fate of Oedipus, create tension and expectation in the audience and increase our empathy for Oedipus. In Chronicle of a Death Foretold, we cannot help but feel sympathy for Santiago Nassar as his death is already revealed to the reader at the start of the novel. Dramatic irony is manifest very early and is shown through each individual in the community and especially through Santiago's mother, who ultimately neglects to inform him about his death. The use of sight and blindness imagery is the key technique towards foreshadowing Oedipus's fate and future actions. Many of the references to sight, blindness and eyes appear early on in the play. The emphasis that is put on this subject and the context in which they are used foreshadow the importance of eyes and being able to see. In the very first episode the priest that speaks for the people and addresses Oedipus says "you see us before you now". A hint is made that Oedipus can only see now but that he will lose his sight later. ...read more.

Middle

Expectation is elevated further more when the Chorus pronounces that "not till I see these charges proved will I side with his accusers" and that "time alone can bring the just man to light - the criminal you can spot in one short day". The time frame of Oedipus Rex is during one single day. Oedipus is digging deeper into the story behind Laius' murder and his own ancestry. The audience knows the hour will come when Oedipus discovers the truth. In the novel, the community make it visible when trying to distance themselves from guilt. The resident's of the town do so by establishing a detailed account of the day of Santiago's murder, which is based on memory and inaccurate versions of the truth. By doing so, the residents hope to remove the guilt from their souls. However, after many years of having this guilt on their souls, causes another aspect of human nature to be revealed, total denial. Hortensia Baute is a resident of the town who claims that her "only participation was having seen the two bloody knives that weren't bloody yet". Following the murder, Hortensia enters a state of mind of refusal and inability to recognize that she had the power to stop the murder. Standing by and watching a crime take place, a crime of such brutality and cruelty, is just as bad as committing the crime first hand. ...read more.

Conclusion

Secondly, it highlights the hamartia in Sophocles' protagonist Oedipus. Imagery of sight and blindness exposes the tragic flaw in Oedipus, being his pride or hubris. In Chronicle of a death foretold, the town tries to "give order to the chain of many chance events that had made absurdity possible". The narrator returns to the town 27 years after the murder of Santiago and tries to recount the day of his death. The narrator tries to put the day in order, a chronological order. However, human memory is not always a reliable source for the events of this day, as over time, the past becomes obscured, details are forgotten, and accuracy is lost. This is shown by a conversation between Cristo Bedoya and the Mayor: "I just saw them with pig-killing knives...'It can't be, because I took them away from them before sending them home to bed. It must be that you saw them before that'...'I saw them two minutes ago and they both had pig-killing knives'...'O Shit. Then they must have come back with two new ones". The two men have conflicting perspectives of the same event, yet both respond with such certainty. As one man states: "they must have come back with new ones", this demonstrates another aspect of human nature, which is to come up with excuses and rationalizations. Finally, the community rationalizes Santiago's death a "fate". If it was fate that caused the murder, than the community doing nothing to stop it does not make them guilty of the crime committed. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. In the famous play Macbeth, William Shakespeare stimulates the senses with both blood imagery ...

    Arthur Dimmesdale suffers during the seven years of silence. The source of his anguish is the remorse he feels for his sin. Guilt eats away at his very soul and threatens to destroy him.

  2. A detailed study of 'Oedipus Rex'

    She knows that if Oedipus finds out the truth then she will be in more pain. At some point, he starts to realize the truth about his past which is when he actually starts to see mentally. He reveals his past and understands that Tiresias and the oracle were correct the whole time about his fate.

  1. Rudyard Kiplings The Man Who Would Be King is a thematic story on many ...

    Rudyard's watch, but upon discovering that they were of the same brotherhood, (the Free-Masons,) he feels obligated to return it. Masonic brotherhood is used again when Peachey simply expects Kipling to comply with his and Daniel's crazy plan. The Masons may have negative connotations surrounding them, but this book really shows the positive atmosphere of brotherhood that they have created.

  2. Who is to blame for the death of Dido in Virgil's Aeneid?

    Dido, also states the irreversible course of fate within the lives of people. Dido's fate has already been determined, and she cannot prevent her ill fortune as her death has been cast by Fate. If there should be someone to blame for Dido's death, Fate would seem to be the concluding factor.

  1. In The Visit, Friedrich Durrenmatt uses irony and theatrical devices to convey the corruption ...

    describes the new bell tolls as ?rich and powerful? and says it is ?affirming life?(Durrenmatt 58). By using stock characters, the audiences become less emotionally attached to them, and are able to focus more on how their general actions advance the theme.

  2. How does Kreon act as a foil to Oedipus in Sophocles' Oedipus the King?

    Oedipus actually takes pride in being the man who holds the responsibilities for the citizens of Thebes. These incidents clearly show multiple instances where Kreon can be and is established as a foil to Oedipus. Kreon unquestionably complicates the character of Oedipus, by not only being the man who puts

  1. Oedipus Rex Commentary. The excerpt taken from Oedipus Rex, written by Sophocles presents ...

    Deep, how deep you drew it then, hard archer, at a dim fearful range, and brought dear glory down!? Oedipus Rex as arrogant comes to his natural territory; neglects hurt and carelessly braced himself into the nightmare of his own truth and a catastrophic end.

  2. What role does knowledge play in Oedipus Rex?

    The dramatic events then continue, as Oedipus then blinds himself by stabbing his eyes out with Jocasta?s brooches, signifying his awareness of his metaphorical blindness. This depicts that now although literally blind, now is fully sighted to the knowledge of his actions.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work