Use of irony in Oedipus the King

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Dramatic Irony initiated in the Greek plays and gradually with time was incorporated in the rest of the tragedies largely and comedies at particular places. Dramatic irony is a rhetorical device or a literary technique that employs a climactic consequence.It is essential to understand the meaning of dramatic irony before analysing the impact of the device used in one of the greatest plays by Sophocles, Oedipus the King and understand the perspective from which Sophocles treated this literary device into the plot of the play. Particularly this type if irony is implemented in the situation where the character in the play is about to make any mistakes or commit one without any priori but the audience or the reader is more educated and aware of the consequence. In the play Oedipus the King also the situational irony is manifested through the dramatic ironies where Oedipus passes comments that are in a way indications of his forth-coming actions about which he is not unaware. The awareness of the audience about the ignorance of the protagonists at various places heightens the sympathy and manifestation of the ironic destiny of Oedipus. Thesis Statement The essay intends to explore the ways dramatic ironies are incorporated in to the plot of the play, Oedipus the King to generate tragedy, empathy and conflict in the play.Use of Dramatic Irony in the Play Oedipus the King Dramatic ironies are more common with tragedies. … Such occurrence takes place at the outset of the play, when Oedipus proclaims to trace the murderer of Laius and the speech which captivates a great threat and curse for the murderer and one who has given shelter to him reclaims the irony as the audience are well aware that Oedipus is cursing and abusing none other than his own self as according to the prophecy, he himself is going to be Laius’ murderer, Oedipus: Upon the murderer I invoke this curse- whether he is one man and all unknown, or one of many- may he wear out his life in misery to miserable doom! (Sophocles, Oedipus the King) The scene between Teiresias and Oedipus is full of dramatic irony. Becoming impatient by the impulsive instinct, Oedipus compels Teiresias to unveil the fact of his prophecy. Oedipus loses control over his rage, accuses the wise prophet of his physical blindness and abuses him. Whereas, the truth is that Oedipus despite of having the power of physical sight is mentally blind. He cannot see or perceive the truth and therefore despite of being physically complete, he is actually incomplete with his half-sighted insight, and he remarks the following lines which evoke optimum tragedy and irony at the same time. Oedipus: It has, but not for you. it has no strength for you because you are blind in mind and ears as well as in your eyes. (Sophocles, Oedipus the King) The involvement and effect of dramatic ironies are also pertinent in the scene with Creon. Creon requests Oedipus not to confine him into exile or pass death sentence against him. With the last scene of the play, the audience encounter a complete role reversal where Oedipus requests Creon to look after his daughters and pass the sentence of