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Irony in Dramatic literature

             Irony in dramatic literature can be described as the difference between what the audience knows and what the characters know to be true. One example of irony would be in Oedipus Rex. In Scene 1 on page 54, Oedipus is talking about the murder of Laios. Starting on line 222, Oedipus is telling his people what they should do if they meet up with the killer. He says, "Hear what I propose to do: I solemnly forbid the people of this country, where power and throne are mine, ever to receive that man. Or speak to him, no matter who he is or let him join in sacrifice, lustration or prayer." This example of irony continues as Oedipus continues to say, "I decree that he be driven from every house, Being as he is corruption itself to us: the Delphic Voice of Zeus has pronounced this revelation. Thus I associate myself with the oracle And take the side of the murdered king." Irony continues when Oedipus, unaware that he is talking about himself, says on line 232, "As for the criminal, I pray to God - whether it be a lurking thief, or one of a number - I pray that a man's life be consumed in evil and wretchedness. The most ironic, at line 235, Oedipus states, "And as for me, this curse applies no less If it should turn out that the culprit is my guest here, sharing my hearth you have heard the penalty.".
             Another example of irony occurs again earlier in Oedipus Rex. On lines 104 and 105, Creon says, "By exile or death, blood for blood. It was murder that brought the plague - wind on the city." This is an example of irony because the plague is actually referring to the turmoil that is going on in the city. What is being suggested is that the plague will continue to occur because of the evil that is happening in the city. Until this murder is solved and the evil is gone, the plague will be present.
             One last example of irony occurs in the play of Agamemnon. In Antistrophe 1, on page 30, starting around lines 376 - 384, the chorus is talking about Agamemnon.

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