Irony Paper Oedipus and Story of an Hour

Topics: Irony, Oedipus, Oedipus the King Pages: 3 (1341 words) Published: September 29, 2008
Literature allows people to experience and learn life’s lessons through text. One of the most commonly used literary devices is irony. Irony can be defined as the difference between appearance and reality, or when a reader expects or assumes one thing and the opposite is true. It allows an author to engage and surprise the audience, which often also teaches an important lesson. Two classic examples of irony through literature are Oedipus the King by Sophocles and The Story of an Hour by Kate Chopin. In the play Oedipus the King, Sophocles uses dramatic irony for the moral and political education of society. Dramatic irony depends on the audience’s knowledge of something that the character does not know. Throughout this play Oedipus is searching for his identity, the answers to his questions are visible to the audience the whole time, but not to Oedipus. The knowledge of his true fate also enables the audience to see his errors made from his blindness to the signs that foretell his demise. In the beginning of the first act, the citizens of Thebes are begging their king for his help to lift the plague that is attacking the city. Creon, Oedipus’ brother-in-law, comes with news from the Oracle that in order to cease the plague they must solve the murder of Laius, the king before Oedipus. Then summoned by the king Tiresias the blind prophet accuses Oedipus himself of the murders. Jocasta, the queen, tells him to ignore the prophecies. She then stated that once she was told that her son would kill Laius, which could never come true because they abandoned their child to die. This news begins to haunt Oedipus, who was told by an oracle when he was a boy that he would kill his father and marry his mother. By the end of the play Oedipus learns the truth that he is in fact the son of Jocasta and Laius, and that he had killed his father and then married his mother. This shocking revelation leads to the suicide of Jocasta and Oedipus blinding himself for his inability to see...
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