Irony in Oedipus the King
Dramatic Irony: Dramatic irony arises when the audience knows more than a character does. There is a tremendous amount of dramatic irony in Oedipus the King, particularly in the scenes leading up to Oedipus’s recognition of his own guilt. The mystery at the heart of the play concerns the murderer of the former king Laius. The gods send a plague to Thebes when they fail to bury the dead king. The play was based on a myth that was familiar to the audience. There is also a scene early in the play in which the prophet Tiresias tells Oedipus, “You yourself are the criminal you seek.” For much of the play, the audience either knows or correctly suspects that Oedipus is the murderer for whom he searches.
Irony Examples in Oedipus the King:
Oedipus the King🔒
"Did any bandit dare so bold a stroke, Unless indeed he were suborned from Thebes?..." See in text (Oedipus the King)
"but I grieve at once Both for the general and myself and you...." See in text (Oedipus the King)
"thou hast eyes, Yet see'st not in what misery thou art fallen,..." See in text (Oedipus the King)
"I His blood-avenger will maintain his cause As though he were my sire,..." See in text (Oedipus the King)