Theme Of Irony In Oedipus The King

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The presence of irony in “Myth” by Muriel Rukeyser, “My Oedipus Complex” by Frank O’Connor, and “Oedipus the King” by Sophocles link these three literary pieces together. However, each of the works utilize different forms of irony in different levels to specifically present their message. In Rukeyser’s short poem, the narrator uses verbal irony through Oedipus’ conversation with the Sphinx and dramatic irony through Oedipus’ shorthanded conclusions. O’Connor uses situational irony in his short story by presenting unanticipated endings to the narrator’s hopes, and takes advantage of his narrator’s ignorance to present dramatic irony. Finally, in the famed Greek tragedy, Sophocles uses cosmic and situational irony as a result of the…show more content…
Other unexpected negative outcomes include Larry and Daddy’s “series of skirmishes against one another” until Daddy had been turned out of the bed himself, and Larry’s desperation for a baby to “brighten the house up” until Sonny, the baby arrives and he refers to it as “that poisonous pup.” Common knowledge of a mature audience helps to provoke dramatic irony from Larry’s misled conclusions. Larry believes in “cheap” versus “exclusive” babies, tells his mother that he is going to marry her when he grows up, and explains that the baby, Sonny, only cries for attention. Simple minded conclusions in contrast to the audience’s assumed logical and mature knowledge results in dramatic irony because they know more about the debated issues than the narrator Larry does. The famed Greek tragedy assumes much of its appeal from Sophocles's use of dramatic, cosmic, and situational irony. In a prelude to the play, the audience is assumed aware of Oedipus’ fate. Before the play even begins, common spectators enter with the common knowledge that Oedipus killed his father Laius and married his mother Jocasta. The aire of dramatic irony meets its peak when Oedipus desperately tries to find Laius’ murderer while the audience is aware that
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