more oedipus - Since everyone knew the myth, Sophocles'...

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Since everyone knew the myth, Sophocles’ play contained no plot surprises for his audience. Instead, the tragedy held their interest through new interpretation, poetic language, and, most especially, dramatic irony. Dramatic irony arises from the difference between what an audience knows and what the characters on stage know. In Oedipus the King , for example, everyone in the audience knows from the beginning that Oedipus has killed his father and married his mother. The tension of the play, then, develops from Oedipus’ slow but inevitable progress toward this terrible self-knowledge. Watching Oedipus’ fate unfold, the audience identifies with the hero, sharing vicariously in the horror of the reversal he suffers and acknowledging the power of destiny. By connecting with the audience, Sophocles has achieved the catharsis that Aristotle thought was so important. In accomplishing this dramatic feat, Aristotle declares, Sophocles’ Oedipus the King stands as the greatest tragedy ever written.
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more oedipus - Since everyone knew the myth, Sophocles'...

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