Dramatic Irony : A Literary Criticism Essay

1139 Words Aug 26th, 2015 5 Pages
Dramatic irony is a heatedly debated topic in contemporary literary criticism. This issue is especially explored in Sophoclean criticism in light of the tragic ambivalence which is well known in Sophoclean study. Rich scholarly contributions to dramatic irony were made in the past decades and the debate over the meaning of dramatic irony and its relation to tragic ambivalence is still under discussion. In the debate, scholars’ strong interest in Sophoclean language as a media to interpret Sophoclean strategy of irony has never ceased. “Sophocles is a supreme artist of language” states A. A. Long, yet “he is more difficult to analyze than either of his fellow tragedians.” Here the language finds it position where tragic ambivalence and dramatic irony come across. Attempts have been made by generations of scholars, from Earp to Vernant and to Budelmann, to look into language in the token of dramatic irony and tragic ambivalence of Sophoclean Tragdy.
Simon Goldhill is one of current scholars who make a notable contribution to this long discussion. His recent article, ‘Undoing in Sophoclean Drama: Lusis and the Analysis of Irony’ is a significant work, which aims at advancing the criticism to the next round. His article focuses on the crucial word lusis (undoing) in Greek tragedy which has not been discussed sufficiently, as a site of investigation into how Sophoclean irony works. In the article, Goldhill first examins the meaning of an ordinary word, lusis, and exhibits…

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