Comparing and Contrasting Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannus and Rita Dove's The Darker Face of the Earth

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Comparing and Contrasting Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannus and Rita Dove's The Darker Face of the Earth

Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannus can be argued that it is related loosely to Rita Dove's The Darker Face of the Earth. This comparative and contrasting characteristics that can be seen within both plays make the reader/audience more aware of imagery, the major characters, plot, attitudes towards women, and themes that are presented from two very different standpoints. The authors Sophocles and Dove both have a specific goal in mind when writing the two plays. In this paper I will take a closer look of the two, comparing and contrasting the plays with the various elements mentioned previously.

Sophocles style of plot structure was usually to begin in media res. This is particularly true of Oedipus Tyrannus. When the reader or audience is first introduced to the main character, Oedipus is already a grown man and king of his country. In the first few lines, talk of a "fiery plague ravaging the city" is mentioned (Sopochles 3). In the very early stages of the play the reader begins to feel pity for Oedipus and recognizes his suffering. The time span is also another important factor to consider when analyzing the plot structure. The play in its entirety takes place within a one to two day period. The flashback scenes into Oedipus' childhood give the audience a better sense of the big picture, but can be misleading when focusing on the time aspect element.

The roles of the characters are particularly useful when comparing and contrasting Oedipus to Darker Face. Oedipus can be argued to be a sympathetic ruler of his people, "my heart must bear the strain of sorrow for all..." (4). He shows a strong desire to rid the land of its despair. Yet as the reader captures a more in-depth glimpse into Oedipus' soul, we find him to be a jealous, stubborn, "blind", guilty, and sinful man. Oedipus' character outwardly seems to want nothing more than to find the guilty persons involved in the murder of Laius, yet when given obvious clues he turns a blind eye, not wanting to know the truth behind the prophecy.

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