Oedipus the King Comparison to Hamlet Essay

Oedipus the King Comparison to Hamlet Essay

Length: 1469 words (4.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Powerful Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The two most controversial situations in a person’s life are fate and free will, the determinants of why things happen the way they do (Hamilton 12). Whether or not what people go through is a result of fate or choice is a thing, which requires adequate deliberation. Fate describes a situation in which someone believe the idea that his or her future is already planned, even though they do not know what is going to happen to them. This, therefore implies that the individual will do a lot of things, but in the end, what happens to him or her is something previously outlined by forces of unknown nature. For instance, individuals who live unhappy lives may assume and believe that their misery is a result of their fate, and that they can do nothing about it. This is further referred to as fatalistic situation. Nonetheless, other people believe they have control over their fates by being brave, while improving their lives, as well. Free will, on the other hand, is the ability of a person to make choices without facing any form of constraints. It presents a situation in which people have every right to judge someone’s action since the doer is always in a position to control what he or she does. This principle of free will comes with religious, ethical, legal and scientific implications (Hamilton 44). From this perspective, it is evident that Oedipus faces experiences caused by fate, and has completely no control over the things happening in his life. He lives at a time when a prophet’s words mean a lot for a person, and all these affect his life in one way or the other. Hamlet, on the other hand, faces experiences duly caused by free will. He is in complete control of his actions, and has targets to achieve from everything he does.
To b...


... middle of paper ...


...n in relation to their destinies. In the end, Oedipus has no control over his life experiences while Hamlet acts out of free will to determine his destiny.




Works Cited

Dandelion, Pink. Towards Tragedy/reclaiming Hope: Literature, Theology, and Sociology in Conversation. London: Ashgate, 2004.
Hamilton, David. Destiny Vs Free Will: Why Things Happen the Way They Do. New York: Hay House Publishers, 2007.
Jones, Ernest. Hamlet and Oedipus. New York: W. W. Norton, Incorporated, 1976.
Shakespeare, William "Hamlet" 2014.Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and
Writing. By X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 12th ed. Boston: Pearson, 2013. 915-939. Print.
Sophocles. "Oedipus the King." 2014. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and
Writing. By X. J. Kennedy and Dana Gioia. 12th ed. Boston: Pearson, 2013. 860-870. Print.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Comparison Of Oedipus The King vs. Hamlet vs. Waiting For Godot Essay

- Some of the first forms of drama come from ancient Greece. Oedipus the King by Sophocles is a great example of ancient Greek tragedy, Hamlet by Shakespeare is the example of drama of Elizabethan period and Samuel Becketts Waiting for Godot represents the drama of the 20th century and belongs to so called. Theatre of the Absurd. Because all these dramas come from different period of time, it's natural that they differ from each other in many aspects. The Greek tragedy has unity of time, place and action, since it takes place all in one day, happens in a single scene, and develops only one plot....   [tags: Comparative Literature]

Free Essays
1020 words (2.9 pages)

Essay on tragoed Comparing Elements of Tragedy in Hamlet and Oedipus the King

- The Tragedies of Hamlet and Oedipus the King       Tragedy is a broad genre that may take many forms. Sophocles' Oedipus the King and Shakespeare's Hamlet both contain the basic elements of tragedy, but Hamlet is a tragic hero, while Oedipus is a tragic villain. From the opening moments of Hamlet, the audience knows that Hamlet must avenge his father's death. Oedipus, on the other hand, kills his own father and unwittingly marries his mother, thus sealing his own fate and fulfilling the prophecy that stated he would do just that....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Powerful Essays
774 words (2.2 pages)

tragoed Comparing Tragedy in Hamlet and Oedipus the King (Oedipus Rex) Essay

- Tragedy in Hamlet and Oedipus the King Tragedy comes in many forms, for example earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes are all types of tragedies. On the other hand, when talking about tragedy in literature, it has a whole different meaning. Tragedy in literature is on a smaller scale than things like earthquakes, tornadoes and hurricanes. In literature tragedy is usually about one person and the horrible things that happen to them during their life in a story or play. Oedipus is the main character in the play Oedipus the King....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Free Essays
624 words (1.8 pages)

Essay on Comparison of Oedipus and Hamlet

- Comparison of Oedipus and Hamlet Compare and contrast Oedipus and Hamlet. Is Oedipus more a man of action. Or is he more a man driven by whim and sudden, rash decisions. Which character is more selfless. Does Hamlet show any signs of selfish motives in his actions or inactions. Which protagonist seems more learned. wiser. more religious. more loving. more incestuous. Which seems to be a better murder investigator. Does Oedipus have any of Claudius' motives when he kills the king, Laius. Then which murderer is more blameworthy--Oedipus or Claudius....   [tags: Oedipus Rex Hamlet Plays Literature Essays]

Powerful Essays
1320 words (3.8 pages)

Hamlet and Oedipus: A Comparison Essay

- Tragedy. It is a word which can conjure many images for most people. From the innocence of a child who has lost her favorite blanket, to the heartbreak of losing a parent, to the desperation of a suicidal teen, every person on earth can relate to tragedy. The degree to which an audience can relate or even just sympathize with the tragic hero determines the quality of the tragedy. That said, in order to produce a tragedy, it is necessary to have a tragic hero. In his work, The Poetics, Aristotle sets forward characteristics that all tragic heroes should share....   [tags: Tragedy, Literary Analysis, WIlliam Shakespeare]

Powerful Essays
1592 words (4.5 pages)

Comparison: Oedipus and Hamlet Essay

- 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....   [tags: Tragic Heroes, Characteristics]

Powerful Essays
1313 words (3.8 pages)

A Comparison of Tragedy in Hamlet, The Book of Job, and Oedipus Rex Essay

- Interpretations of Tragedy in Hamlet, The Book of Job, and Oedipus Rex   For ages, man has pondered upon the roots of destiny. Is the outcome of a man's life determined by human qualities and failings, the meddling of a divine power, or simple fate. Shakespeare's Hamlet made the argument that tragedy is caused by human folly. The idea that divine intervention is at the root of human suffering is put forth in the Book of Job. In Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, fate is given as the root of man's suffering....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Powerful Essays
1253 words (3.6 pages)

Comparing the Tragedies of Hamlet, Oedipus the King, and Death of a Salesman

- Comparing the Tragedies of Hamlet, Oedipus the King, and Death of a Salesman The tragedies Hamlet, Oedipus the King, and Death of a Salesman have strikingly different plots and characters; however, each play shares common elements in its resolution. The events in the plays’ closings derive from a tragic flaw possessed by the protagonist in each play. The downfall of each protagonist is caused by his inability to effectively cope with his tragic flaw. The various similarities in the closing of each play include elements of the plot, the reflection of other characters on the misfortune of the tragic hero, and expression of important themes through the dialogue of the characters....   [tags: compare contrast compare/contrast]

Powerful Essays
1033 words (3 pages)

Comparing Oedipus and Hamlet Essay

- 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....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Free Essays
374 words (1.1 pages)

Hamlet and Oedipus Rex: The Birth of Kings Essay examples

- Hamlet and Oedipus Rex: The Birth of Kings Two plays, "Hamlet", written by William Shakespeare and "Oedipus Rex", written by Sophocles share a common bond of illusion and innocence. The protagonists in both plays appear at the beginning only to have changed so that reality has broken through the illusion with less than desirable results for either. In these two plays, two kings must leave their innocence behind as the truth leads them first, to enlightenment and then to their downfall....   [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]

Free Essays
847 words (2.4 pages)