Irony in oedipus rex

October Irony in Oedipus Rex The novel Oedipus Rex is full of different types of ironies: dramatic irony, double irony, and verbal irony, just to name a few. An example of the verbal irony can be seen when Oedipus addresses his people and says that he feels the sickest among them all because of the trouble they are in, whereas his people actually think of him as the sickest because they know that Oedipus sleeps with his mother. Oedipus Rex reflects dramatic irony in its dialogue. Dramatic irony is essentially the characters’ misunderstanding of the words’ real meanings and their significance. For instance, Oedipus commits to locate and penalize the one found guilty irrespective of where he/she belonged as his words may show, “ but as if from myself I shall dispel the stain” (Sophocles 16, line 22). While he makes this commitment with the audience, the audience knows that the murderer of Laius is Oedipus, which makes it an example of dramatic irony in the novel.
Later in the novel, that guilty person turns out to be Oedipus himself. Oedipus goes on to say that his own life is also at stake as long as that murderer is free, “ For whoever he was who killed that man would as soon kill me with that same violent hand” (Sophocles 16). This is an example of double irony in the play. A dialogue can be identified as double irony if the original statement seems to be irony, but turns out to be true, thus, making it the irony’s ironical use. Although Oedipus does not know that he is the killer himself, yet he does take his own life later in the story when he comes to realize that the murderer of Laius was nobody else but him.
Works Cited
Sophocles. Oedipus Rex. USA: Prestwick House Inc., 2005. Print.