"To be, or not to be: that is the question" (Shakespeare 1750). "Human beings have no part in the craft of prophecy" (Sophocles 1582). Both quotes are part of famous plays. Although the plays appear to be completely different they do have some similarities such as containing a tragic hero. A tragic hero is a character that makes a mistake and eventually leads to their defeat. A tragic hero usually contains at least 5 characteristics such as a flaw (hamartia), reversal of fortune (peripetia), character 's actions leads to a reversal, excessive pride, and the character 's fate is greater than what they truly deserved. Hamlet and Oedipus are both great examples of what a tragic hero is because they both contain flaws, reversal of fortune, and
According to Aristotle there are five characteristics of a tragic hero: Flaw or error of judgment, (Peripeteia) a reversal of fortune, the enlightenment (anagnorisis) the discovery or recognition, (hubris) excessive pride, and the character’s fate. Oedipus finds the elders of Thebes praying to the gods for liberation of the plague. Oedipus “alone can help. The cause of the trouble is himself; the chances he has had in his life are precisely the source of the plague” (Diski 1). Oedipus is the cause and the solution to end the plague, but he is blind to the true. Hamlet, differently from Oedipus, is a “man of thought and action, a justice seeker and a criminal, a victim and a wrongdoer, a deeply reflective introvert and a man capable of acting on impulse” (McHugh 1). Hamlet’s free will, injected him with the desire to vengeance his father at any cause. Both Hamlet and Oedipus meet all of the characteristics of a tragic hero. In the beginning of both stories is introduced the first characteristic of a tragic hero, the flaw and error of judgment. In Hamlet, the ghost of his father tells him to revenge his death and In Oedipus; the oracle warns Oedipus about killing his father. Next, the reversal of fortune, in both tragedies leads to the death of their mothers. The anagnorisis of Hamlet was when he discovered how his father died and in Oedipus when the shepherd recognized Oedipus as the killer of Laius. The hubris overpowered both heroes, Hamlet for vengeance of his father’s death and Oedipus to revenge the death of Laius, which ironically was his real father, and he had killed him. Hamlet and Oedipus have the five characteristics of a tragic hero, the main characteristic that both share, is the error of judgment, however, their fate ...
“Oedipus is, as it were, only a tragic analysis. Everything is already in existence, and has only to be unraveled.” Throughout the history of literature, there has been perhaps no other character quite as complex and convoluted as Oedipus. Whether it be the reality of his parents abandoning him to die or the mere fact that he married his own mother Jocasta, Oedipus has been continually analyzed and processed by scholars in an attempt to discover the means by which Oedipus arrived at his eventual outcome. To summarize, Oedipus, being originally from Corinth, travels to Thebes in search of his true heritage. After a series of events, Oedipus becomes the king of Thebes and soon discovers the truth. Once thorough deliberation has been given to
Oedipus is widely known for being the man that killed his father and married his mother. After Oedipus finds out about what he has done he proceeds to jab both of his eyes out and remains blind for the rest of his life. By Oedipus doing this it means that his fate that was told to his parents at the beginning of the story had come true. With Oedipus jabbing his eyes out, this made it clear that this was a tragedy. Oedipus is the perfect fit of being a tragic hero. First of all by being born into royalty and throughout his life he held a royal persona. Also he makes some choices that leads him to his own destruction. For example, with him already marrying his mother and his mother had already had several of his kids their was nothing that he could do when he found out that his wife was also his mother. In the story as he went back to confront his mother/wife, she had already hung herself. As for being a hero, he done many heroic things throughout his life. For example, when he arrived at the city where he met his mother and father, there
Oedipus Rex is one of the most renowned tragedies of all time in part because of its direct paradoxes but mostly due to it’s touching of several major themes. In this play, Sophocles chooses Oedipus as the hero (if he is to be called that) and manages to convey many of broad perspectives of Ancient Greek life. Oedipus deals with the oracle in many contrasting ways, which lead to this specific unfolding of events, which we will discover is not in his hands. The protagonist of the play Oedipus is the son of king Laius and Queen Jocasta of Thebes. Oedipus is abandoned by his parents as they learned from the oracles that their son will kill his father and marry his mother. However, the fate hasn’t changed. Oedipus was saved by a couple. As Oedipus gets older he consults the oracle and they tell him the same thing. Not wanting to harm his parents, Oedipus runs away. On his way to Thebes where the three roads meet he gets into a quarrel with an old man and kills him without knowing that it was his biological father.
Free Will: A response to Hamlet and Oedipus
The absence or presence of fate and free will is as controversial as religion and science. The question of whether one can exist without the other is purely a matter of perspective, but the amount of evidence for both is vast. Like all topics of this magnitude, the fate or free will influence reaches all aspects of life. In literature, whether knowingly or unknowingly, works are subjective to the author’s ideals, but the interpretation of the works by the reader is a product of his or her ideals. This is why some readers see fate in a work and others see free will.
William Shakespeare and Sophocles were both intellectual playwrights for their time. Shakespeare is considered to be one of the most advanced writers of his time. They both created plays similar in nature such as; “Oedipus Rex” and “Hamlet”. Both plays were consistent of dramatic tragedy. Sophocles wrote about the typical Greek tragedy that consisted of an ill-fated doom for Oedipus. Shakespeare wrote about Kingdom of Denmark where all things fell apart and death was imminent. Each story consisted of a queen that was important to the outcome of each play. Gertrude was the queen in “Hamlet”, and Jocasta was the queen in “Oedipus Rex”. Gertrude and Jocasta were both widows at one time and each had a son that played a major role. It appeared that Jocasta may have been more self-aware as she knew her fate was doomed with the birth of her child Oedipus.
Oedipus Rex, also known as Oedipus the King, is one of the most ironic plays ever written. Sophocles, the author, is a famous philosopher of the ancient times. The Play is about Oedipus, the king of Thebes, who unwittingly killed his father and married his mother. An oracle warned Laius, the king of Thebes prior to Oedipus, that his son would slay him. Accordingly, when his wife, Jocasta, bore a son, he exposed the baby on Mt. Cithaeron, first pinning his ankles together (hence the name Oedipus, meaning Swell-Foot). A shepherd took pity on the infant, who was adopted by King Polybus of Corinth and his wife and was brought up as their son. In early manhood Oedipus visited Delphi and upon learning that he was fated to kill his father and marry his mother, he resolved never to return to Corinth. Travelling toward Thebes, he encountered Laius, who provoked a quarrel in which Oedipus killed him.
Oedipus Rex is a Greek play written by Sophocles. The play is set in Thebes; Thebes is infected with a plague that is killing its crops and unborn children. This plague is caused by the prophecy. The prophecy states that Oedipus would kill his father and wed his mother. Laius threw out Oedipus when he was a baby to avoid this fate, but he failed because Oedipus was not killed. Oedipus was raised as a prince in Corinth. One day he was told the prophecy and feared that he would kill his father Polybus. While running away from Corinth to escape the prophecy, Oedipus killed Laius. When Oedipus arrived in Thebes, he freed the people from the sphinx. He was named king and married Jocasta. Towards the end of the play, Oedipus finds out that he had fulfilled the prophecy and is exiled from Thebes.
Free Essays - Oedipus vs. Hamlet as Tragic Protagonists
Oedipus fits Aristotle's definition of the tragic flaw and protagonist almost flawlessly. Aristotle described the protagonist as "someone regarded as extraordinary rather than typical..."(1117). Oedipus freed Thebes from the Sphinx by solving her riddle-- something nobody else had been able to do. The priest in the first scene of Act I calls Oedipus "...our greatest power" (1121) and describes him as rated first among men.
Hamlet is of noble birth but there is nothing else extraordinary about him.