Saturday, September 13, 2014

Irony in Oedipus

While reading Oedipus, irony is something that I noticed occurred very frequently. Lines 250-285 struck me as a passage that is full of irony all in one page. The irony revolves around all of Oedipus' claims about catching the murderer of Laius. Line 249 says "If I'd been present then, there would have been no mystery, no long ing without a clue in hand." On line 275 Oedipus says, "Drive him out, each of you, from every home. He is the plague, the heart of our corruption, as Apollo's oracle has just revealed to me." This whole passage on page 580 demonstrates the irony of Oedipus' character. Oedipus the savior of the Thebes and the heroic figure becomes just the opposite. Instead of being a savior, Oedipus becomes "the plague" as he accused the murder of being during this speech. I think this establishes Oedipus as an ironic figure in the play, for his figure as "savior" really turns into him being the source of devastation and chaos in Thebes. Oedipus openly speaks against the murderer and the damage that the murderer. The quote I mentioned earlier," If I'd been present then...stood out to me because of the irony and how Oedipus openly contradicts everything that he did. Irony seems to pervade the play and Oedipus' obvious use of irony when he says on this same page "Now my curse on the murderer" is so obvious and kind of comes to define Oedipus' character in a way.

1 comment:

Sri Korrapati said...

I agree that Irony is used a lot, specifically dramatic irony. We have to keep in mind that the audience would have known the story of Oedipus before. Socrates could have included all this irony because he wanted to make people laugh. Or maybe he could want people to agree and see Oedipus's logic and then later feel bad that this happened to Oedipus.