Use Of Irony In Oedipus Rex

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Oedipus Rex is a Greek tragedy written by Sophocles about a man who tries to escape a prophecy from coming true but ends up fulfilling it instead. Oedipus, the protagonist, is destined to kill his father, Lauis and to marry his mother, Jocasta. Oedipus soon discovers that all this time he has been in denial and leads to his own destruction, gauging his eyes out. With this, Sophocles, knowing that his audience already knows the outcome of the play, uses that knowledge to create situations that involve verbal, dramatic, and situational irony that keep the audience on the edge and also to develop the characters in the play. Accordingly, this play sends a strong message of fate and free will to the audience. Oedipus’ free will to pursue knowledge of his identity is significant; fate is responsible for Oedipus’s incest and many of the other devastating events in the play. By the importance of fate, Sophocles sends a message across that his characters cannot be fully responsible for their actions. A perfect example of this is blaming Oedipus for marrying mother. His ignorance was his flaw leading to his downfall, fulfilling the prophecy he “tried” so hard to avoid. Sophocles’ use of irony helps the audience develop the characters of Oedipus Rex. Verbal irony shows the audience his many tragic flaws such as ignorance, pride, and his egotistical attitude. Situational irony showed us Oedipus’ ignorance of his birth parents and of himself. Dramatic irony showed us the actual truth of Oedipus’ wife/mother and him fulfilling the prophecy because of fate. In the beginning of the play, Thebes is under a horrible plague and Oedipus sends Creon, his brother in law, to ask the oracle how to end the plague. Creon comes back with good news; once the killer of Lauis is found, Thebes will be cleared from the plague. Hearing this, Oedipus announces that he will

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