Rhetorical Devices in Oedipus Rex
Again, Sophocles emphasizes the power of communication and how the talk of others relates to one’s identity. All that the audience knows of Oedipus has been revealed not by him but by what others say about him. Gossip is often described as malicious, but it assumes a more neutral role in Oedipus Rex. It doesn’t dictate bad outcomes, but simply reveals truths about a character, as well as the inevitable future.
Sophocles’ word choice indicates the fixed nature of the plot, and connects to the theme of inescapable fate. The criminal they are searching for is already “dead’ in the eyes of Oedipus, which creates an expected outcome. Anything that happens will be moving towards this outcome, heightening tension.