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Oedipus the king - Essay Example

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12 December 2012. Oedipus the King: Oedipus the King also knows as Oedipus Rex is a world famous Athenian tragedy created by the ancient tragedian Sophocles. This literary analysis primarily focuses on the ironic element in context of Oedipus Rex and is written in an attempt to critically assess the nature of this element, how frequently it is used in the story to win the attention of the readers, and what impact this style leaves on the audience…
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Oedipus the king

Download file to see previous pages... It will also be argued in the essay that on many occasions in the tragedy, Oedipus and other characters make such comments which for them apply to some facts known to them but which in reality apply to a broad range of obscure yet critically important havoc-wreaking facts which they are not familiar with. Also, the status of women in Oedipus Rex or Oedipus the King has been frequently debated among the critics and the growing integration of feminist criticism into critical analysis of drama and theatre reveals that women have nearly always been perpetually portrayed in an inferior way by the authors. Gender discrimination forms a patent factor in many classical masterpieces and almost every time women are shown inferior to men in some way. In ancient Greek times, women had no role because it was thought they had no brains. The Greek tragedy Oedipus the King, likewise, illuminates the inferiority of women to men and shows that inferiority of women to men dates back to 4th century B.C. The literary analysis will also contemplate the extent to which women are portrayed inferiorly in Oedipus Rex. Literary research claims that the repeated use of irony in Oedipus Rex basically highlights the intention of Sophocles to identify how limited human understanding can lead one to appalling and torturous consequences like the ones experienced by Oedipus himself. Irony definitely serves as an important tool for the author to develop a kind of plot which has a very unexpected ending (Woidke). The tale of Oedipus Rex contains many examples of irony like in the case of Oedipus Rex when he in the beginning unknowinlgy commits murder of his father and marries his mother. Later towards the end, he uses needles to gorge his eyes out as all the facts once unknown to him are at last revealed in an extremely tragic way. Irony in the story identifies how sometimes gross misunderstandings are created when people are not fully familiar with all the facts either due to fate or by personal mistake. One striking example of irony in Oedipus the King is evident from the event when Oedipus upon learning from Creon that the city of Thebes was exposed to plague because former King Laius's killer was still alive and the plague would not go away unless the killer be killed or exiled from Thebes, decides to reach Teiresias who is in fact the oracle of God Apollo. Now the irony is that while the audience is familiar with who actually murdered Laius and why the plague persisted in Thebes, Oedipus is sadly ignorant of this blood-curdling reality. This ignorance leads him to Teiresias to investigate into the matters. The dialogue of Teiresias reflects another example of irony. Though he knew the hidden secret of Oedipus’ parentage, he hesitated to voice his verdict in front of the crowd but the king made him speak up forcefully upon which, Teiresias revealed that Oedipus himself was Laius's murderer and his mother Jocasta's second husband. Having listened this, Oedipus got violent and told Teiresias that he was “blind in mind and ears/as well as in your eyes” to which he replied, “You are a poor wretch to taunt me with the very insults which everyone will soon heap upon yourself” (Sophocles and Grene). Irony is evident in this exchange of remarks ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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Oedipus the King
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