Literary Analysis of Sophocles', Oedipus the King

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Sophocles' Oedipus the King was considered by Aristotle to be the faultless model of a tragedy. The reason Aristotle considered Oedipus the King to be matchless was due to the fact that it flawlessly adhered to his stringent criteria of an effective tragedy. In Aristotle's The Poetics he describes how Oedipus the King meets his principles of dramatic composition by its use of a complex plot, simultaneous discovery and reversal and finally the character of …

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…the superlative of tragedies exemplifies the principles of dramatic composition laid down by Aristotle. Oedipus is a model and a guide for the many tragedies that have followed since its inception. Sophocles' superior and masterful creation of a complex plot that contains a concurrent reversal and discovery, his use of horror as imagery, his exceptional use of irony in three different forms and the dynamic character of Oedipus sets the foundation of the effective tragedy.