Irony And Reason In Sophocles Oedipus The King

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Is it truly possible for any mortal to effectively utilize knowledge and reason? And if they are able to, does it have any positive effect, or are there bigger, more powerful forces that affect lives far more? In Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannus, the eponymous character, Oedipus tries to piece together both the mystery of King Laius’ Killer and his own past. The levels of irony—both dramatic and literary—makes it extremely difficult for readers and audiences to decide when he is acting reasonably and when he is not. Oedipus Tyrannus illustrates that Reason is an elusive concept that humans are often unable to rely on, due to external forces, such as having incomplete knowledge of a situation. Even when humans are able to effectively use reason and have it inform their actions, ultimately it is far less influential and powerful than Fate, and the Will of the Gods.
Sophocles characterizes Oedipus as being an extremely likeable and worthy hero. In the first scene of the play, he is shown to care greatly about the people of Thebes, is a caring husband to
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When, decades prior to the start of the play, Jocasta and Laius are given the prophecy that their son is fated to slay Laius they “pierced his ankles and by the hands of others cast him forth upon a pathless hillside” (Oedipus Tyrannus 718). If logic and reason were truly more powerful than fate, these actions would have been more than enough to ensure that the prophecy never came true, and baby Oedipus would have died before to being old enough to even understand what a prophecy is. It is highly unlikely that an injured baby, left out to die of exposure on a pathless road, would be able to survive, however Fate could not be circumvented--Oedipus survived, grew up, and moved inexorably forwards his fate’s

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