Literary Devices in Oedipus Rex
Dramatic Irony: For example, when Creon tells Oedipus about the god’s curse on Thebes, Oedipus puts his own curse on the murderer of Laius, not knowing it was he who killed Laius (Sophocles, 14). Throughout the book, Oedipus learns things that the audience would have already known, like when Oedipus discovers who his parents really are. Verbal Irony: “I pray that the man’s life be consumed in evil and wretchedness” – Oedipus (Sophocles 14) Oedipus demands that the evil man who murdered Laius be punished, but he is unaware that he is the murderer. Oedipus accuses Creon of framing him for the murder of Laius so that Creon would become king. Creon states that he is not interested in being king as he is contented with his present position of wealth and power. Oedipus explains that he ran away from his parents to avoid the prophecy that he would kill his own father and marry his mother. He does not know that he is adopted and his true parents were Laius and Jocasta. Oedipus ridicules Teiresias for his blindness but Oedipus is also a sightless, foolish and senseless man to the truth of his own actions. Tragic Irony: “Noblest of men, restore life to your city” – Priest (Sophocles 5) Due to the prophecy, Oedipus leaves his parents and escapes to another city. He does not know that he was an adopted son. His escape leads him to the city where his true parents reside. Unknowingly, he kills his own father and refuses to admit the crime. Oedipus does not know that he marries his own mother and has four children with her. Incest is one of the greatest crimes, so he causes the plague to happen in his city. Flashback: For example, when Oedipus and Jocasta are talking about what happened to Laius the day he was killed. Jocasta tells Oedipus who Laius was with at the time, and where he was killed. When Oedipus hears this information he describes a time in his past when he left Corinth (Sophocles, 53). Later Oedipus is talking to the shepherd who...
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