Essay on irony in oedipus rex

Oedipus knows about the prophecies yet he does not know they have come through, however the audience is aware of everything going on in Oedipus life.

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According to Oedipus, he has proved the prophecies wrong, but the audience knows this is not the case. In Oedipus speech to the people of Thebes he tells them he will start from the beginning and will bring right to their lives.

Dramatic Irony in Oedipus the king

This leaves readers in suspense wondering what will come next. Oedipus he will gain something form the people of Thebes by finding the murderer of liaus it creates suspense, as the reader will want to know what will happen next. This lets the audience wonder as to what would happen when Oedipus figures out that the real killer of liaus is himself.

This leaves the readers questioning everything that is to come next. To reveal the murder in this part of the play is an important factor of creating suspense among the readers.

Oedipus Irony Essay

The play continues to develop by creating suspense through the use of dramatic irony. The readers know he is the murder of liaus but looking at Oedipus personality the novel also depicts how angry Oedipus is with whoever killed laius. This creates terror and suspense in the readers mind as to what Oedipus would do when he finds out he is the murderer of Laius. This also creates anticipation among the readers, as they will want to know what is to come next. Another aspect of dramatic irony used for the development of the play is the audience feeling sorry for Oedipus.

The audience knows what ill-fate Oedipus life carries and how in a way he is guilty of his own unhappiness. This feeling of remorse the audience develops through the play contributes greatly to Oedipus character personality according to Aristotle.


The use of dramatic irony makes the readers hopeful. Dramatic irony also foreshadows what might be the out come in the end. Prophecies and foreshadowing are important parts of play writing, and adds an element of suspense that might not seem possible any other way.

Again the audience already knows about his prophecies and the curse they bring upon him, which he will have to pay for in the end , hence this quote foreshadows to the readers what might happen to Oedipus at the end. Irony in Oedipus Rex The stages of drafting, revising, and gathering feedback helped me with my essay. The play Oedipus Rex by Sophocles is a Greek tragedy, which explores the irony of fate.

The play revolves around Oedipus, a man who eventually becomes humbled by his downfall. Dramatic, verbal, and situational irony can be identified in Oedipus Rex.

Dramatic irony is a big part of the play as the defining element and characteristic which helps the audience understand the main character and creates a sense of fear because Oedipus' tragedy could become their own. Verbal irony occurs when a character speaks of a situation or person in which he or she believes is the truth however the audience knows that they are not. Sophocles uses foreshadowing to create verbal irony. Situational irony involves a situation in which actions have an effect on what is intended. Situational irony was the backbone of the play because it made up the largest conflict of the entire play.

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Use of irony in Oedipus the King

These three elements together help the reader explore the irony in Oedipus Rex. Dramatic irony occurs first in the story when Oedipus unknowingly kills his father, King Laius. After hearing the prophecy for his life , Oedipus leaves Corinth to prevent himself from killing his father. During his journey, Oedipus meets King Laius and kills him. The irony is found when Oedipus becomes king and sets off to find the King's murderer.

While in the process of finding King Laius' murderer, Oedipus finds out that he killed King Laius and that he should have look for himself the whole time. In addition to the dramatic irony, Sophocles uses verbal irony several times throughout the play, including when Oedipus talks to the people of Thebes.

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  • Extract of sample "Use of irony in Oedipus the King".

Sophocles talks about how the public has fallen and about the killer of King Laius.