Essay on Oedipus vs. Hamlet as Tragic Heroes

Essay on Oedipus vs. Hamlet as Tragic Heroes

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Oedipus from the drama, “Oedipus the King” and Hamlet from, “Hamlet, Prince of Denmark” are two characters that are different, yet they both share the same title of being a tragic hero. Oedipus and Hamlet have many characteristics of a tragic hero that separates them in varieties. However, some of those characteristics show that both characters have and use similar thought processes and methods, which classify them as tragic heroes of their dramas. The five characteristics of a tragic hero are: nobility, tragic flaw, peripeteia, anagnorisis, and lastly irony. Both Oedipus and Hamlet hold or have a nobility position in their drama’s plot. Oedipus is the son of the king, and fate has foretold that he will kill his father and take over the kingdom. Hence, Oedipus was fated into his nobility, so he is required always remain in a status above all others. Hamlet is also the son of the former king that is now dead. Hamlet was born into this nobility, and this makes him the prince. Both characters are royalty, yet their morals and values are what make their nobilities the same. Their actions create heavy and dramatic outcomes, which lead to many more complications. Both men try to resolve their problems different, so their fortunes become reversed. Oedipus and Hamlet are very different, yet almost have the same fates. Out of all the five characterizes, three of them describe and separate both men best as tragic heroes. The tragic flaws, which is defined as hamartia, both men have are the main reason they are heroes of tragedy, their recognitions of their situations, which is an anagnorisis, are at different points in their stories, and lastly both men meet an ending that is meant to be an irony of their fate.
The tragedy’s both men e...


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..., yet both of them are almost the same. Hamlet meets his end with revenge, and Oedipus meets his downfall with his curiosity. One thing absolutely common between them they are tragic heroes. They differ and relate, but one thing is certain, and that is they contain all five characteristics that define them. Tragically in the end, both men are fated to suffer for their reaming lives, which will end with their own dramatic deaths. Oedipus and Hamlet perhaps they are not completely different.



Works Cited

Shakespeare, William. “Hamlet, Prince of Denmark” Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. Eds. X.J. Kennedy, Dana Gioia. Boston: Pearson, 2013.1396-1506. Print.
Sophocles. “Oedipus the King” Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. Eds. X.J. Kennedy, Dana Gioia. Boston: Pearson, 2013.1207-1244. Print.

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