Most important innovations that Sophocles the Author brought to "Oedipus the King", were religious paradox, and dramatic Irony!

Essay by HiediG78 October 2003

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The most important innovations Sophocles brings to Oedipus the King, is the way he brings religious paradox and dramatic irony together making fate a new concept and relating that to a monotheistic theology as apposed to a polytheistic one.

Sophocles uses dramatic irony in the play by showing irony and profoundness of fate, as it plays out in this story. Before the play began, an oracle was brought to king Laios, and queen Jocasta, telling them that their unborn son will kill his father and marry his mother. When the baby is born, Laios gave the child to a shepard to die in the hills, but the baby ends up being adopted by a king and queen from a distant city. When he grows up and later learns of his prophecy he fled from the city. Both father and son see the prophecy not as valuable knowledge to guide their lives, but as knowledge to try to avoid it.

What they fail to understand is that what the god see's, is what will be, there is no avoiding your fate.

In greek society, there was belief in many gods, not just one. The greek gods had a part in everything that happened in society as Apollo the god in Oedipus has a part in what happens with their fate. Oedipus says

"I have sent creon, son of Menoikeus, brother of

the queen, to Delphi, Apollo's place of

revelation, to learn there, if he can, what act

or pledge of mine may save the city."(Sophocles


Which is ironic, because Oedipus is the one that has caused the city's plague, and neither he nor the city's people who are under Oedipus'rule realize this. Then Oedipus says,

"O lord Apollo! May his news be fair as his face

is radiant!"(Sphocles...