Eirōneía

11:32:00 PM

Over the years, I have slowly accumulated a love of irony. This love has often left me completely fascinated with individuals who effortlessly spew ironic remarks. No, not the individuals who manage to be ironic without the knowledge of their own irony, while this is hilarious at the speakers expense, it is nothing more than a rare combination of ignorance and coincidence. I absolutley adore the intellect of irony, the quick thinking necessary, and how often it slips by unnoticed, making it that much more enjoyable. Individuals like Nietzche, Shakespeare and Sophocles, being the masters of irony that they are, naturally intrigue me. Eirōneía, Ancient Greece's version of what we call irony is literally translated to mean feigned ignorance. The possession of this ability, closely resembling modern-day lying, in Ancient Greece was considered an admirable one, a skill. This makes Greece one of the very few societies that actually values a good liar. Lying was only a skill so long as the liar could keep tabs on what was indeed reality; when the line between reality and the lies blurred this "skill" was nothing more than a hinderance.

This is where Sophocles' genius comes from, this subtle irony, this lying without really telling a lie, we could call it deceit or contradictory allusions, I suppose. Call it what you may, Sophocles' Oedipus the King is without a doubt one of the most irony-rich pieces of literature to date. The title alone is priceless. "Oedipus Tyrannos" is the greek title. Tyrannos is translated to mean any person who comes to political power independent of sanguinity. Yet, Oedipus is the only person at the time who was indeed a blood-line to the throne. He achieved through political means that which he was entitled to by birthright. The whole thing speaks for itself, really. Nietzche considered Sophocles' tragedy to be one of the greatest accomplishments of humankind, his consequenial ironic genius was inevitable and the irony of Shakespeare is a whole other story. I suppose all I'm trying to say is that I have a longing for wit and irony that is yet to be remedied by a living being; and I'm beginning to worry it is because it doesn't exist. Someone, please prove me wrong.

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