At the beginning of Oedipus’ reign, dramatic irony is shown when he addresses Thebes, and the chorus about finding the murder of the former king Laios. Oedipus States “If any man knows by whose hand Laios, son Of Labdakos, met his death, direct that man to tell me everything'(Sophocles 13). Oedipus shows that he does not know who the actual murderer of Laios is, which in fact, is himself, while the audience knows all along that he is the killer. Earlier in scene one, The Chorus is praying to the gods for relief from the plague and Oedipus states “Is this your prayer? It may be answered.
Come, listen to me, act as the crisis demands and you shall have relief from all these evils” (12). Oedipus acts as if he is a god, or can speak for the gods, which shows his pride even more. In the middle of Oedipus’ reign, dramatic irony was shown when Oedipus requests help from Teiresias to solve the mystery of who killed Laios and how to save the city. Teiresias explains to Oedipus that he will not say anything; this angers Oedipus, resulting in a word-war between each other. Oedipus mocks Teiresias about his blindness, which causes the prophet to state, “You ock my blindness, do you?
Don’t waste your time!
Order your assignment!
But say that you, with both your eyes, are blind: You cannot see the wretchedness of your life… ” (Sophocles 22). What Teiresias says is a perfect example of dramatic irony, in that the audience knows that Oedipus will end up blinding himself after he realizes that his prophecy has come true from his tragic flaw. Near the end of Oedipus’ reign, dramatic irony is shown when he is confronted by a messenger, who has news of a Shepard coming to tell Oedipus about his parents. Oedipus’ wife, locaste, knew what was going to be aid, so she exclaimed to Oedipus, “You are fatally wrong!
May you never learn who you are… Ah miserable! That is the only word I have for you now. That is the only word I can ever have. ” (Sophocles 57). After that, she rushes off into the palace and kills herself (Unknowingly to Oedipus). Dramatic Irony is present in that the audience knows that Oedipus is the killer and that he also married his own mother. Soon enough though, Oedipus finds out that he killed his father and married his mother, which caused him to leave the palace and gouge his own eyes out, so he could vanquish his mental lindness.
Sophocles uses dramatic irony to illustrate Oedipus’ pride throughout the story by showing how mentally blind he is about the murderer of Thebes and of his own fate. By watching Oedipus’ pride transgress throughout the play, we see how Sophocles uses the role of dramatic irony as a way to illustrate the story and induce pathos in the audience when the play is finished. Dramatic irony in the play Oedipus Rex helps to convey the tragic downfall of pride in Oedipus, illustrates and thickens the plot, and gives the audience a more interactive and enjoyable experience.