Dramatic Irony in Oedipus the King

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“For whoever killed Laius might decide to raise his hand against me. So, acting on behalf of Laius, I benefit myself, too”(Sophocles 10). The intended meaning is that Oedipus wants to find the murderer of Laius not only to save Thebes, but incase the murderer decides to kill Oedipus since he is king as he did Laius when he was king. The unintended meaning is that Oedipus himself is the murderer so he is trying to protect himself from himself, which ultimately fails because he pierces his own eyes. “I shall make a proclamation, speaking as one who has no connection with this affair, nor with the murderer”(Sophocles 14). The perceived meaning of this is that to Oedipus, he has no relativity to the death of Laius or to his murderer, but the unperceived meaning is that Oedipus does have all the connection there is to have with both because he is the murderer of Laius. “Insult me, go on-but that, you will find, is what makes me great”(Sophocles 30). The intended meaning is that Oedipus doesn’t care if Tiresias insults him because he believe he has already saved Thebes and believes he will rid the city of Laius’ killer, but the unintended meaning is that the insults are actually the truth of Oedipus, that they are the answers which he is looking for which ultimately dooms Thebes because Oedipus doesn’t realize he is Laius’ murderer. “If it turns out that he tells the same story as you-then I, at least, will be cleared of responsibility”(Sophocles 58). The perceived meaning is that Oedipus believes that if the Shepard tells the same story as Jocasta, then Oedipus has no responsibility because then he is guaranteed not the killer, and the unperceived meaning is that regardless of the Shepard’s story, Oedipus is the killer because the Shepard just lies, so Oedipus still bears

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