Oedipus Rex

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Oedipus the King: The Irony in His Tragic Situation

Oedipus’ tragedy lies in the irony of his predicament: he is both cause and solution. In spite of this irony, it is foolish to simply place the blame squarely on Oedipus’ shoulders. Consequently, while Oedipus is paradoxical in nature, he cannot be attributed with a tragic flaw.Throughout the play one sees the irony present in the play's themes of fate, trust, and sight. This reflects mainly on Oedipus’ situation but more subtly exposes the irony of the king's reputation. Irony is effective in emphasizing the hero’s downfall, and on a larger scale it shows parallelism with the suffering of Thebes as a community. The irony inherent in the play shows thatOedipus is not solely at fault for his sins. Oedipus’s fate of killing his father and marrying his mother is introduced at the beginning of the play. Once this prophecy is realized by his parents Jocasta and Laius, they try to veer away from it by sending him off to perish in the mountains, however this plan failed and the infant was brought to be raised in Corinth. When Oedipus heard of his fate later on, he ran away from his home in Corinth which brought him back to Thebes. In attempt to escape their fate all three characters ironically contributed in leading themselves into the paths the gods had given them. By sending him away, he was unaware of who his true parents were which was why the prophecy became true. Also, irony in fate is also evident when Jocasta thinks she changed the course of her fate. “No man possesses the secret of divination. And I have proof. An oracle was given to Laius- From Phoebus, no; but from his ministers- that he should die by the hands of his own child, His child and mine. What came of it? Laius, It is common knowledge, was killed by outland robbers At a place where three...
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