The Beginnings of the Revelatory Structure--Some key points in the first 400 lines of the play
Clue 1 the play's title and the king's name (Oedipus, which means swell-foot)--foreshadowing of O's sign of recognition
Clue 2 Oedipus limps (this limp can act as a sign of recognition later)
First example of dramatic irony "Everybody everywhere knows who I am: Oedipus, King" (ln. 10). --O. doesn't really know himself.
Second key example of dramatic irony " Everything ends here, with me. I am the man" (ln. 87). --O. is literally "the man" who brought the plague by polluting Thebes with his fratricide and incest.
Third key example of dramatic irony "When he returns, what kind of man would I be / if I failed to do everything the god reveals?" (lns. 95-6) --O. consistently tries to avoid fulfilling the prophecy of the Oracle, yet here he seems to say a good man follows the word of the gods.
The first oracle banish or kill the
murderer of King Laios to stop the plague (lns. 113 ff.) Here we learn about
the supposed story of Laios' death, that bandits killed him.
Results in O's promise to find the killer (lns. 160 ff.), to reveal the truth, and to seek vengeance
Fourth key example of dramatic irony "So by avenging Laios' death, I protect myself" (ln. 170) --In reality, by finding the killer and avenging Laios's death he hurts himself.
Fifth key example of dramatic irony Lines 293-301-O claims he knows nothing of the murder. Following this he curses himself (lns. 338 ff.) --But O. committed the murder himself.
Other Points of Dramatic Irony and/or Revelation in Oedipus Rex Identified by the Class