The Greeks considered tragedy the greatest form for literature. However, the tragic ends for the characters were not ordained or set by fate, but rather caused by certain characteristics belonging to that person. Such is the case with the characters of Sophocles' plays Oedipus the King and Antigone. Oedipus from King Oedipus, and Antigone and Creon from Antigone posses characteristics, especially pride, that caused their tragic ends. As the play progress, other characteristics appear and further add to the problem to such a point that it is inevitable that it will end in tragedy. Therefore the tragedies were not a result of a plot by the fates, but rather a result of the characteristics that the characters possessed.
The characters posses a multitude of traits, some of them common to all of them. Pride is especially prevalent. This characteristic seems to be the major tragic flaw or hamartia that eventually causes the downfall. Oedipus exhibits a vast amount of pride, which seems to border on sheer arrogance. This is demonstrated in the beginning of the play where he states, "I, Oedipus, whose name is known afar."(p. 25). This is reinforced by the priest's replies of, "Oedipus great and glorious,"(p.26) and, "O greatest of men."(p.26). Therefore it may be concluded that Oedipus obviously posses a large amount of pride. Antigone, daughter and sister of Oedipus also posses the same trait. Creon acknowledges this when he says, "This girl's proud spirit,"(p.139) and Antigone confirms this with her grand speech to Creon, where she states, "I knew that I should have to die... living in daily torment as I do, who would not be glad to die?" (p.138). Thus the pri...
... middle of paper ...
...in both King Oedipus and Antigone there were characters whose lives ended in tragedy. However these falls from grace were no the deeds of fate, but rather that of the character themselves. The characteristics, especially pride, of the people set them on the path. Therefore the faults of the characters were the cause of their ill-fated end.
Dodds, E. R. "On Misunderstanding the Oedipus Rex." Twentieth Century Interpretations of Oedipus Rex: A Collection of Critical Essays. Ed. Michael J. O'Brien. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1968. 17-29.
Sophocles. "Oedipus Rex." An Introduction to Literature, 11th ed. Eds. Sylvan Barnet, et al. New York: Longman, 1997.
Sophocles. Antigone. Exploring Literature: Writing and thinking About Fiction,
Poetry, Drama, and the Essay. Ed. Joseph Terry. New York: Addison-Wesley Educational Publishers Inc, 2001.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Oedipus the King More Tragic then Antigone Sophocles was a master of tragedy, thereÕs no argument there. But which of the 2 plays weÕve studied, Oedipus the King and Antigone, is the more tragic. I believe that Oedipus the King was more intensely tragic and I think that if I were to see a the plays Òback to back,Ó Oedipus would be the more likely one to rivet true emotions from me. I think OedipusÕ cathartic value can be seen clearly when you compare the entirety of the results in both plays.... [tags: comparison compare contrast essays]
365 words (1 pages)
- Being in a position of great power, can cause one to think they are the ones in control. Oedipus and Creon in Sophocles’ plays, The Oedipus Cycle, find out that being a king is nothing in comparison to being a god. Throughout their lives of triumph that ended in misfortune, they learned great value from changing their ways and recognizing their stubborn pride. Oedipus was able to see his faults much sooner than Creon, though their fate was inevitable. A tragic hero is one who makes a judgement error that ultimately leads him/her to their own destruction while also learning from the experience.... [tags: Oedipus, Sophocles, Antigone, Oedipus the King]
1218 words (3.5 pages)
- The story of Antigone is one most prevalent of its time in providing a background of the destructive times of Thebes. Thebes is considered one of the most influential city-states due to the substantial historical contents it provides of ancient Greece. For example, according to Greek mythology, Thebes was the birthplace of Greek God Heracles and the God of wine and pleasure, Dionysus. Most importantly the resting grounds for mythical king Oedipus whose ' story foretells the importance of Greek prophecies and oracles.The trilogy of Oedipus from Sophocles is a series about a group of plays beginning with Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus and ending with Antigone.... [tags: Oedipus, Sophocles, Oedipus the King]
1551 words (4.4 pages)
- Contrast between Oedipus the King and Antigone Sophocles, a famous and renowned Greek dramatist, is the playwright to both the play Oedipus the King and Antigone. Along with Antigone and Oedipus Sophocles had also wrote Electra and Fete. Sophocles wrote many Greek tragedies which are plays in which the main character in the play suffers a tragedy due to some flaw of theirs. An example would be how Oedipus (thinking he is defying a prophecy) murders his father and weds his mother. His flaw was him trying to defy fate if he had not just stayed where he was he would’ve been fine.... [tags: flaw, conflict, tragedy]
755 words (2.2 pages)
- The Ancient Greek Tragedies was a way for poets to tell a story with a twist. A way for others to see that life isn’t perfect for anyone. People get the feeling that if someone is from money, or they have the best house, that their lives must be perfect. With the Ancient Greek Tragedies, Oedipus the King, Antigone, and Medea, the poems followed Aristotle’s ideas of a real tragedy and a tragic hero. “The tragic hero is a man of noble stature. The tragic hero is good but must fall due to some flaw, inordinate ambition, quickness to anger, a tendency to jealousy, or pride.... [tags: Tragedy, Sophocles, Euripides, Greek mythology]
1037 words (3 pages)
- Sophocles’ background influenced him to write Antigone. One important influence on the drama was the author’s life in the “golden era” of Athens during fifth century BCE. In that time, Athens was experiencing much change in all facets, and drama was a major factor in Athenian culture. In his essay “Sophocles,” Ed Downey reports that Sophocles was born at the beginning of the “golden era” in Athens and lived a long life influenced by “the artistic and cultural achievements in the ancient Greek world”.... [tags: Sophocles, Oedipus, Tragedy, Oedipus the King]
2409 words (6.9 pages)
- A Critical Analysis of Antigone By Sophocles Sophocles’ background influenced him to write Antigone. In the fifth century BCE. the “golden era” of Athens, is an important influence in the author’s life. In that time, Athens has experienced so much change in all facets; in addition, drama continues as a major factor in Athenian culture. In his essay “Sophocles,” Ed Downey reports that Sophocles was born at the beginning of the “golden era” in Athens; furthermore, he lived a long life influenced by “the artistic and cultural achievements in the ancient Greek world.” Sophocles is a wealthy and highly educated, “happy man.” As a young man, Sophocles begins his playwright career, so he eventual... [tags: Sophocles, Oedipus, Tragedy, Oedipus the King]
2438 words (7 pages)
- Overpowering and overbearing rulers can blur their judgment of what is right. Taking leadership to the extreme can cause a person to act in ways that do not correspond with their personal beliefs. This problem comes up a number of times in Sophocles plays, Antigone and Oedipus the king. Creon, the second king of Thebes, who is also the uncle of Antigone and Ismene, is a ruler who only cares for himself. Oedipus, the previous king, cares for the well- being of the people and views them as equals.... [tags: Oedipus, Sophocles, Jocasta, Creon]
1390 words (4 pages)
- Oedipus Rex as a Great Greek Tragedy The reader is told in Aristotle's Poetics that tragedy "arouses the emotions of pity and fear, wonder and awe" (The Poetics 10). To Aristotle, the best type of tragedy involves reversal of a situation, recognition from a character, and suffering. The plot has to be complex, and a normal person should fall from prosperity to misfortune due to some type of mistake. Oedipus Rex, by Sophocles, is a great example of a Greek tragedy. Its main plot is Oedipus' goal to find out his true identity, the result being his downfall by finding out he has married his own mother and killed his father.... [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]
1016 words (2.9 pages)
- Comparing the Character of Creon in Oedipus and Antigone Creon does not learn a lesson from Oedipus' accusatory behavior. Instead he adapts this bad personality trait. Throughout Antigone, he accuses everyone who tries to give him advice of betraying him. Whereas, in Oedipus, he is falsely accused by Oedipus of trying to take over the throne. This paper will compare and contrast his behavior and evaluate if he learned anything from one play to the next. Creon was seen in a different context in Oedipus compared to his character in Antigone.... [tags: Oedipus Antigone]
825 words (2.4 pages)
- Pride and Prejudice Essay: First Impressions
- Essay on Fate in Oedipus Rex and The Seagull
- A Rebuttal to E. R. Dodds' On Misunderstanding the Oedipus Rex
- Destiny, Fate, Free Will and Free Choice in Oedipus the King - Driven by Fate
- tragoed Essay on the Tragic Flaws of Oedipus the King (Oedipus Rex)
- Abortion is Not the Reason for Lower Crime Rates