Oedipus and Othello Essay

Oedipus and Othello Essay

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The role of the gods/fate in human affairs is a central theme in most works of literature. In Greek literature, particularly, the will of the gods is commonly attributed to human experiences. In Oedipus the King, for instance, the oracle’s message that Oedipus will kill his father and marry his own mother suggests that he was a puppet in the hands of the gods, who manipulated the events that led to his fall. However, the character’s fate is not entirely attributable to the work of the gods. In the play, Oedipus meets his fate due to his determination to unravel the mysteries surrounding the king’s death, despite warnings by the prophet Tiresias and his wife/mother, and his quest to prove the oracles wrong in their declaration that he is the king’s murderer. In contrast, the character of Othello in William Shakespeare’s Othello meets his downfall as a result of the schemes of other characters, chief among them lago, who wanted to avenge Othello’s decision to bypass him for the liutenant’s position and instead promote Cassio, a junior officer. With reference to the play Oedipus by Sophocles and Othello by William Shakespeare, this essay disputes the statement that Oedipus’s downfall is the work of the gods while that of Othello is self-inflicted. On the contrary, this essay argues that the downfall of Oedipus is self-inflicted while Othello is a victim of the lies and evil schemes conjured up by lago, who wants to settles scores with Othello for not promoting him to the lieutenant’s position.
Oedipus’ fall is largely attributed to his blind preoccupation to avoid the prophecy proclaimed by the oracle (DeRoo and Manoussakis 113). Despite the declaration by the oracle on his birth, Oedipus fulfills the prophecy in his attempt to a...


... middle of paper ...


...who acted as a puppet under the control of Lago.



Works Cited

Adamson, Jane. Othello as Tragedy: Some Problems of Judgment and Feeling. London:
Cambridge University Press, 1980.
Ahl, Frederick, Seneca, Lucius, A., and Sophocles. Two faces of Oedipus: Sophocles'
Oedipus tyrannus and Seneca's Oedipus. London: Cornell University Press, 2008.
Collick, John. Shakespeare, Cinema, and Society. Manchester: Manchester University
Press, 1989.
DeRoo, Neal, and Manoussakis, John, P. Phenomenology and eschatology: not yet in the
now. New York: Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2009.
Knneddy, J., Gioia, Dan. Literature: an introduction to fiction, poetry, drama, and
writing. New York: Pearson Longman, 2007.
Shakespeare, William. Othello. London: Cricket House Books LLC, 2010.
Will, Frederick. The Generic Demands of Greek Literature. New York: Rodopi, 1976.

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