Oedipus Rex Questions and Answers
by Sophocles

Oedipus Rex book cover
Start Your Free Trial

What are examples of cosmic irony in Oedipus Rex?

Expert Answers info

David Morrison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2017

write11,901 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, History, and Law and Politics

Cosmic irony is simply the irony of fate, and if there's one thing that Oedipus Rex is about, it's fate.

Oedipus's downfall is directly related to his inability to comprehend the role of fate in mortals's lives and how it is manipulated by the gods for their own ends. Oedipus acts as if he can defy fate, even after he's been explicitly warned of the consequences of his actions by the blind seer, Tiresias. Of course, he can't outsmart fate, and the end result of his stubborn defiance is the exact opposite of what he'd expected; this is what makes it ironic. Every step that Oedipus takes to try to avoid his fate—such as attempting to get to the bottom of how his father was killed—only brings him nearer to his eventual doom.

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

accessteacher eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write13,728 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and History

Cosmic irony...

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 408 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now


Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial