Essay On Juxtaposition

Tiresias provides insight and truth to an ignorant and proud Oedipus.Oedipus holds the misconception that his worldly knowledge and power over Thebes provides him with enough insight to realize that he has unintentionally fulfilled his fate.

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Tiresias establishes the inevitable reality of fate, as well as the adverse consequences of Oedipus’ use of freewill.

Tiresias warns Oedipus that “(a)t last you (will) see-yes soon-/ (w)hat portless port this palace and this marriage was you made,/ scudding in before a lucky breeze?

This well-crafted literary piece is clearly based on the juxtaposition of two characters: God and Satan.

Frequently in the poem, the bad qualities of Satan and the good qualities of God are placed side-by-side, and the comparison made brings to the surface the contrast between the two characters.

Juxtaposition in this case is useful in the development of characters.

John Milton’s is one of the narrative poems that can be used as an example of juxtaposition.Juxtaposition is a literary device that William Shakespeare uses most commonly in his play Here, the radiant face of Juliet is juxtaposed with a black African’s dark skin.Romeo admires Juliet by saying that her face seems brighter than brightly lit torches in the hall.Oedipus remaining ignorant to the truth and ignorant to Tiresias’ warnings establishes dramatic irony, and creates tension as Oedipus’ flaw of hubris is revealed.Oedipus believes with his strong sense of worldly knowledge, he knows truth, but ironically this belief forms his hubris, and prevents him from gaining the insight that Tiresias has of the truth.Oedipus believes he is more superior to Tiresias’ prophecies, and Tiresias rebukes saying “, (p)erhaps you are a king, but I reign too-/ in words. Tiresias is therefore more superior to Oedipus, as he stands for the truth, but Oedipus does not recognize this due to his ignorance of the truth.Through juxtaposition of Oedipus and Tiresias, Oedipus’ character flaws of hubris and ignorance are established.It is a human quality to comprehend one thing easily by comparing it to another.Therefore, a writer can make readers sense “goodness” in a particular character by placing him or her side-by-side with a character that is predominantly “evil.” Consequently, goodness in one character is highlighted by evil in the other character.The comparison drawn adds vividness to a given image, controls the pacing of the poem or a narrative, and provides a logical connection between two vague concepts.In the third passage, from Oedipus the King, Sophocles reveals the importance of self-knowledge to rid of the illusions that fate can be escaped.


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