Oedipus Rex

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In the play “Oedipus Rex” there is man (Oedipus), who unknowingly kills his father (Liaus), marries his mother (Jocasta), and bears children with her. There is a lot of irony floating around in this play. However, situational irony plays the largest role. Situational irony is when an event occurs that directly contradicts the expectations of the characters, the reader, or the audience.

The first example of situational irony that really sticks out for me is the speech Oedipus gives and the curse he puts on the killer of Liaus. As he is speaking to the crowd he says to them “I will defend Liaus as if he were my own father”. This is situational irony because Liaus really is Oedipus’s father. This brings a lot of shock and commotion in for the readers and audience whom already know the truth. This also brings humor to the reader and audience also heightens suspense to the whole theme of the play.

The next example of situational irony is when the prophet tells Oedipus that he really did kill his father. Oedipus was all upset because of what the prophet had toldHim. He tells Jocasta what had happened and she tells him not to worry. For, when she was young her and her husband were to have a son and the son would grow up and kill the father and marry her, and that has never happened. She also tells him that Liaus was killed at a road where it splits in three. This does not calm Oedipus down, it makes him more upset. It makes Oedipus nervous because he now knows that he had killed Liaus. This is where it assist in the development of character because we learn that Jocasta doesn’t believe in Prophecies. This is situational irony because Jocasta was trying to put him at ease, and calm his fears. in return what she was really doing was leading Oedipus to the truth.

The final example of situational irony is when the messenger from Corinth comes and says he has “good” news for Oedipus. When he comes he tells Oedipus that his father has died of old age, and he...
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