Oedipus Rex

Topics: Oedipus the King, Oedipus, Literary technique Pages: 3 (791 words) Published: February 10, 2014
Oedipus Rex

In Oedipus Rex, Sophocles uses dramatic techniques in order to create tension, an impact or a certain atmosphere in the play. Some examples of this include foreshadowing, imagery, symbolism, and many more. However, this essay is only going to talk about two of these methods; irony. These two methods seem to be the most used in the play and also seem to add the most feeling or impact on the audience.

There are many instances in Oedipus Rex, that the dramatic technique of irony is used to cause unrest within the audience. One instance in which dramatic irony prevails is in lines 146-148, “For whoever he was who killed that man / would as soon kill me with that same violent hand. / Helping that one, there fore, I am helping my self.” (Sophocles 146-148)

This instance of irony is a point when the audience know more about what is going on than Oedipus himself. The reason for this is to cause suspense within the audience, it is suppose to draw the attention of the audience and keep them intrigued. Furthermore, Oedipus ironically makes an order against himself as he makes an official order that no one will be allowed to speak to the person who has brought the curse upon Thebes:

“I decree that no on shall receive him / or speak to him, nor make him partner / in prayers to the gods or sacrifices, … but instead that everyone must expel him / from their homes, as this man is the source / of our pollution …” (Sophocles 237-243)

This even more causes suspense because the audience knows that Oedipus is the person who plagued Thebes, not by choice, but he was cursed at birth. Throughout the whole play, Sophocles keeps the audience more informed than the protagonist himself. These examples not only are examples of irony, but also foreshadowing. Foreshadowing also causes additional suspense because the audience can see what is going to happen throughout the play. The playwright hints the audience into the possible future of the play they are...
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