Characters that Reveal the Whole of Reality in Famous Literary Works by Sophocles, Kalidasa, and Shakespeare

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Characters that Reveal the Whole of Reality in Famous Literary Works by Sophocles, Kalidasa, and Shakespeare In Sophocles' Oedipus the King, Kalidasa's Sakuntala and the Ring of Recollection, and Shakespeare's King Lear, there are characters that help the hypothetical figure see the "whole of reality". In Oedipus the King the characters Jocasta and Tiresias allow Oedipus realize his tragic flaw. The same can be said of Kent in King Lear. Also, in Sakuntala and the Ring of Recollection the ring that was given to Sakuntala is the catalyst that allowed King Dusyanta realize that Sakuntala was indeed his wife. These characters serve three important purposes in their respective plays (although a ring is not usually considered to be a character). First of all, they are crucial in shaping the plot of the play. Secondly, they are important in revealing to the audience the flaws of the main character. Lastly and most importantly, they are a symbol of truth and through them the ostensible figure is able to see the "whole of reality". In Oedipus the King, Tiresias is introduced early in the play. At first he refuses to tell Oedipus what he knows about the death of Laius. He says, "Let me go home. That way is best, for you, for me. Let me live my life, and you live yours." (37). This is important in that Tiresias offers Oedipus a way to avoid the truth and suffering that comes with it. If Oedipus would just accept this the truth would never be revealed. Instead Oedipus' true nature is revealed as he becomes angered and demands the truth that he should not want to hear. Tiresias then proceeds to openly accuse Oedipus of killing King Laius. He is the only character in the entire play to do so as he says, "I say you, ... ... middle of paper ... ... Because of this, King Dusyanta is unable to see that Sakuntala is his wife. She is desperately in need of something to jog his memory because the words she says have no good result. The ring is the only thing that allows King Dusyanta to see the "whole of reality". Their love may have never been reconciled if the ring had not have been found. These figures are crucial to the plot of the play. They help to reveal the flaws of the main characters to the audience, and symbolize the truth. Without these crucial characters the "whole of reality" may have never been revealed. Bibliography: Sophocles. Oedipus the King. New York: Oxford University Press, 1978. Kalidasa. Sakuntala and the Ring of Recollection. Penguin Books. The Complete Works of William Shakespeare. Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 28 June 1999.

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