Oedipus The King Tragedy Analysis

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Oedipus the King is a tragedy outlining the fall of Oedipus as he discovers his true identity. The drama focuses on his inability to see past his own ignorance, thus leading to disastrous consequences. As outlined in Aristotle’s Poetics, the mark of a good tragedy is represented by an error done by the protagonist. In the play, dramatic irony emphasizes Oedipus’ compulsion for knowledge which is hindered by his own ignorance, thus resulting in his loss of reputation. Throughout the play, Oedipus deliberately chooses to ignore the advice of Teiresias, in favour of his own uninformed choices. His certainty in his eyesight alongside his obliviousness to the meaning of his name, exemplifies how Oedipus inadvertently curses himself. Oedipus’ unremitting confidence is accentuated through the metaphor of …show more content…
Oedipus’ name means “knowledge of one’s feet” which is a reference to the experience of having his ankles pinned together during infancy. Oedipus has spent his entire life trying to figure out his origins, and the irony of his lack of knowledge regarding his existence emphasizes the nature of his ignorance. The messenger states, “That’s why fortune gave you your very name, / the one which you still carry” (1235-1236). Oedipus is oblivious to his real identity due to his inability to see what is directly in front of him, which causes him to curse himself without considering the consequences. His identity has been with him the entire time, which is implied by the suggestion that “fortune” gave him his name. Therefore, if Oedipus had not been so blatantly ignorant he would have been able to prevent his own demise. However, since he repeatedly chooses to ignore the signs around him, he errs in bringing about his own downfall as king. Oedipus’ actions display the consequences that result from unchecked

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