Irony In Oedipus The King

Decent Essays

Oedipus The King, or Oedipus Rex as it is more commonly known, is an Athenian tragedy written by Sophocles; one of the three ancient Greek tragedians whose plays survived. The play centres on Oedipus, the protagonist and hero of the tragedy who inadvertently fulfils an oracles prophecy that he would, in his adulthood, murder his father, Laius, and marry his mother, Jacosta. In the time of the ancient Greeks, tales spun by dramatists and poets were either of a comedic or tragic nature, in particular. Oedipus The King is both a play of tragedy and of irony, and questions the audience whether enlightenment, or simply the art of ‘knowing’, is really such a good thing. Teiresiasa asserts a fitting assertion that consolidates the aforementioned enquiry: …show more content…

Oedipus is determined to avenge the death of the King on behalf of the gods; however he is completely oblivious to his own act of regicide that has, in Greek culture, angered the gods. The gods are felt as mysteriously compelling in the play; the anguish is not derived from the “dreadful counsel of the gods,” but more so as a normal process of human enquiry. Although Oedipus pledges to seek the truth, deception incarcerates the truth from being recognised and furthermore pursued. His adoptive parents do not reveal that he is secretly adopted; he was therefore raised under a false pretext, which later indirectly prompts disorder in the Kingdom of his heritage; a personal and impersonal chaos derived from deception. The distinction between personal and impersonal chaos can be understood in terms of Sheppard’s understanding of “voluntary and involuntary” and how it serves as a “commonplace of Greek tragedy.” When a drunkard negates Oedipus’s claim of legitimacy as the son of Polybos and Dorian of Corinth, he questions his contested legitimacy with the king and queen: "they stormed, calling it all the

Get Access