Oedipus Rex’s Ironic Fate.
Sophocles” Oedipus Rex uses very twisted situations to make this play ironic. The whole play is filled with irony and paradox. .
When Oedipus learns that finding the kings killer will rid the city of the plague, he sets out to “avenge this wrong to Thebes and to the gods.” Oedipus is already setting himself up for trouble because the king is actually his father. This puts an ironic twist on the play. When Oedipus was born his ankles were pinned and tied together. He was left on a mountainside because of a prophecy that was told to his parents. The prophecy says that Oedipus will kill his father and marry his mother. After the prophecy comes true and Oedipus kills his father and marries his mother, he gouges out his eyes and leaves the city never to come back. He leaves and becomes a dweller on the hills, just as he was as a young child. .
Throughout the play there is a great deal of paradox because Oedipus is so determined to avenge the king’s killer that it becomes a huge downfall for him. Although he is being extremely noble, he has no idea what is in store for him later on in the play.
Oedipus believes when he finds the kings murderer the city will be rid of the terrible plague that it has been cursed with , when actually Oedipus has caused the plague himself.
The soothsayer is extremely hesitant to tell Oedipus that he actually killed his father. The soothsayer says,”Oedipus is being blind by refusing to believe that he killed the king.” Oedipus replies,”With other men, but not thee, for thou in ear, wit, eye and everything blind.” This paradox is revealed in the play because Oedipus does not want to accept the fact that he killed his father and married his mother. Teiresias (the soothsayer) is literally blind. It is ironic that he uses the metaphor that Oedipus is being blind to the situation around him.
The play also talks about the riddle of the sphinx.