Dramatic Irony Oedipus Rex

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Often times do we encounter ourselves in contradictions perhaps even ironic situations. We’ve all experienced it. Oedipus Rex by Sophocles is truly based entirely of irony. Sophocles was conscious that the dramatic irony would be intertwined throughout the plot to enhance the simple fate of the tragic hero. The difference between the knowledge of the tragic circumstances and ignorant characters heightens the depth of the tragedy. The entire play is inundated with ironic connotations to which only the audience is privy as we will see from the beginning, middle, and end. Sophocles decided to open the play with the ruling of Oedipus as King of Thebes. By this time, Oedipus has already committed his terribly deeds that were prior foretold by the oracle in Delphi. The audience/reader’s first impression of Oedipus is seen by the manner he meets the criteria of a great leader and responsible citizen. It is seen that he is capable of suffering with his people and sentences to investigate on Laos’ murder and exile the assassin. Unenlightened by the truth, but fully revealed to the audience, was his decision bringing him closer to his true identity. Many attempts were made to change his fate as the story line proceeds. The first one attempted was the beginning of his life as a newborn. His biological parents decide to discard of him. Ironically is the fact that the killing of this innocent child is just as fatally wrong as what the child will do in the future, yet he is not killed because the shepherd who held the responsibility felt pity and gave him away to the unfertile king of Corinth. This first failed attempt to change fate adds to the discrepancy of what the characters do not understand and what the audience already knows. Years later he overhears a man in Corinth of the elements of his prophecy and exiles himself from Corinth. The audience is aware that he’ll most likely end up Thebes and will fall right in the trap of his horrendous predestination. He arrives...
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