Sophocles, a Greek playwright, wrote the tragedy Oedipus Rex and it is now considered the epitome of all tragedies. The tragedy revolves around Oedipus, the king of Thebes and his own hamartia or tragic flaw causes him to come up with an anagnorisis or epiphany, which ultimately leads to his downfall. In the tragedy, Thebes is cursed with a plague which will only end if King Laius' murderer is apprehended and exiled from Thebes. King Oedipus vows to search for the killer with all of his power but despite advice from Tiresias the seer and Creon, his wife's brother, he continues to deny all they say. Soon, he encounters the realization that he did murder Laius and marry his mother; traumatized, he stabs his eyes out and exiles himself. Throughout Oedipus Rex, Sophocles' use of verbal and dramatic irony sustains suspense because it heightens the tragic feeling that the resolution exudes and to get the audience's attention at every new revelation after another. .
Oedipus and Tiresias' conversation exemplifies verbal irony because despite the fact that Tiresias is blind, he can see and obtain the truth. Tiresias even muses "If you could only see the nature of your own feelings " (Sophocles, 323-324). Oedipus, who is capable of seeing, is blinded by the illusion of his own innocence. Oedipus then forces Tiresias to voice what he knows, but when Tiresias hints at incestuous relationships and Oedipus being the murderer, Oedipus banishes Tiresias from his palace and threatens to exile him. Oedipus promptly turns the tables on Tiresias and immediately accuses him of being the murderer without any evidence to back it up with. Oedipus states that "And I'll tell you what I think: You planned it, you had done it, you all but killed him with your own hands"" (330-312). Oedipus' reaction to the accusation appears to be too dramatic because the thought of him being the murderer lingers in the back of his mind.