In Sophocle's Oedipus the King and William Shakespeare's Hamlet, the unruly forces surrounding the protagonists are the source for their downfall. Fate, women, and divine intervention are the foundation for the protagonists' demise. The protagonists are powerless against these elements, and for that reason, are not responsible for their finish.
The uncontrollable force of fate is one component that assists in destroying Oedipus. Oedipus cannot improve his situation because of fate and realizes this when he declares, "But I count myself the son of Good Chance, the giver of success-I shall not be dishonored." This statement illustrates how powerless Oedipus is against his destiny. He realizes his position and refuses to be `dishonored' for circumstances beyond his control.
In Oedipus the King, Jocasta is another cause for Oedipus's ruin. Jocasta senses that her husband may also be her son. She only encourages him to dismiss the idea. Once Oedipus comes close to discovering the truth Jocasta desperately pleads with him when she cries, "In God's name, if you place any value on your life, don't pursue the search. It is enough that I am sick to death...Take my advice, I beg you-do not go on with it." Jocasta may have been trying to save him, but she help destroy him instead.
Divine intervention plays an important role in the fall of Oedipus. The gods put a plague on the country, and as king, it is Oedipus's duty to save his country. His ability to solve the riddle earns him much praise. This praise for saving the country only serves to inflate Oedipus's ego, which the author displays as he writes:
That riddle was not for anyone w...
... middle of paper ...
...evenge his foul murder and most unnatural murder." The spirit goes on to reveal how Claudius murdered him and asks Hamlet to retaliate. This divine intervention forces Hamlet to do what his father bids. If it were not for this action made by the ghost of his father, his fortune would be different.
In Oedipus the King and Hamlet, the protagonists are victims of unmanageable forces in their environments. Fate, women, and divine intervention are the groundwork for the protagonists' end. These protagonist, try as they might, have absolutely no control over these forces or their outcome.
Shakespeare, William. The New Cambridge Shakespeare: Hamlet, Prince of Denmark. Ed. Philip Edwards. Cambridge: Cambridge U P, 1985.
Sophocles. "Oedipus the King" Classics in World Literature. Ed by Wood, Kerry et. Al. Glenview, IL: Scott-Foresman, 1989.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- In the play, Hamlet, William Shakespeare explores the theme of revenge. Throughout the work, Hamlet acquires a moral dilemma; he cannot decide how to carry out revenge without condemning himself. Thus, although the play promotes the idea of revenge at the beginning, the cultivation of dialogue, relationships, and complications provide evidence of the detrimental consequences and limitations of the theme. When the Ghost appears to Hamlet, he mentions of Christian elements, such as purgatory, heaven, and hell.... [tags: Hamlet, Ghost, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude]
1045 words (3 pages)
- In today’s society, William Shakespeare’s tragedy plays fascinate readers by highlighting characters’ flaws that lead them to their downfall. In the play Hamlet, William Shakespeare demonstrates the characters’ flaws make individuals victims of their own. According to Aristotle, “Men were full of self-control and were, therefore, responsible for their own actions. It was the tragic heroes’ own actions, then, that brought about the chaos and tragic events” (“Aristotle’s Poetics”). To display the characters’ flaws, Shakespeare uses three main characters: Hamlet, Ophelia, and Claudius.... [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude]
1231 words (3.5 pages)
- Tragedy can be defined as the downfall of a protagonist through some fatal error or misjudgment, producing suffering and insight on the part of the main character and arousing pity and fear on the part of the audience. Of all the characteristics of tragedy, one is most important: the tragic hero must be essentially admirable and good. In both the common tragedies, “Oedipus Rex” and “Hamlet”, both main characters are generally good. In either play, both Hamlet and Oedipus make a flaw that will cost them an extreme suffering, and in “Hamlet”, that concludes in many deaths.... [tags: Oedipus Rex, Hamlet]
644 words (1.8 pages)
- In this essay I will be writing about whether Hamlet is a revenge tragedy or not, I will have an introduction which will introduce the meaning of a revenge tragedy, then I will have a main body of text in which I will explain why Hamlet is a true revenge tragedy and finally I will have a conclusion. “What is a revenge tragedy?” Well a revenge tragedy is when a character takes vengeance for a murdered victim, the character is usually a family member of the avenged victim. A Revenge tragedy conventionally results in the death of both the murderer and avenger.... [tags: Hamlet, Revenge play, Characters in Hamlet]
1584 words (4.5 pages)
- Hamlet, the tragic play written by William Shakespeare, takes place in Denmark during the late medieval period. The protagonist, Hamlet Prince of Denmark, feels responsible to get revenge for the murder of his father King Hamlet who was killed by the current King Claudius who was brother to the late King. Polonius is the Lord Chamberlain to King Claudius and he has a son names Laertes and a daughter named Ophelia. Ophelia and the young Hamlet had a budding relationship until her father would no longer allow her to see Hamlet.... [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude]
733 words (2.1 pages)
- Shakespeare’s Hamlet is about a story of a son of the former king, seeking revenge for the death of his father. In turn, his revenge affects the actions and the fate of everyone in the play. William Shakespeare uses several characters as foil: a minor character that reflects some aspect of protagonist. One of the foils in this play is Laertes. He uses Laertes to reveal several character elements of Prince Hamlet. Hamlet and Laertes both love Ophelia, prove their masculinity, and want to seek revenge for the death of their fathers.... [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude]
1335 words (3.8 pages)
- Hamlet is one of Shakespeare’s most well-known tragedies. At first glance, it holds all of the common occurrences in a revenge tragedy which include plotting, ghosts, and madness, but its complexity as a story far transcends its functionality as a revenge tragedy. Revenge tragedies are often closely tied to the real or feigned madness in the play. Hamlet is such a complex revenge tragedy because there truly is a question about the sanity of the main character Prince Hamlet. Interestingly enough, this deepens the psychology of his character and affects the way that the revenge tragedy takes place.... [tags: Hamlet Essays]
717 words (2 pages)
- Shakespeare uses tragedy plays that delight the audience by displaying the characters’ flaws that bring them to their destruction. This is very accurately presented in one of his plays Hamlet where William Shakespeare uses the characters: Hamlet, Ophelia, and Claudius to show how they become the victim of their own flaws. Hamlet becomes a victim to his own inability to take actions against King Claudius.While, Ophelia becomes a victim of her emotions and dependency on other characters and King Claudius becomes a victim of his greed to achieve more power.... [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude, Emotion]
1297 words (3.7 pages)
- In the play Hamlet, Claudius is known as the villain of the play. He is the lead antagonist who is characterized as a cunning, incestuous, and vile, usurper. Many readers and critics of the play do not dispute this perception, especially after reading how Claudius became the King of Denmark; He steals the throne by poisoning his brother, the previous king, and quickly marrying Queen Gertrude his widowed sister in law (1.5.42, 60-74). The general reading of Claudius’s character paints him to be a corrupt, cowardly politician, in addition to being Hamlet’s (the protagonist) foe.... [tags: Shakespearean Literature]
1171 words (3.3 pages)
- In the modern day, William Shakespeare’s tragedy plays fascinate readers by highlighting characters’ flaws that lead them to their downfall. In the play Hamlet, William Shakespeare demonstrates the characters’ flaws make individuals victims of their own. According to Aristotle Men were full of self-control and were, therefore, responsible for their own actions. It was the tragic heroes own actions, then, that brought about the chaos and tragic events (Ref: Aristotle’s Poetics). To display the characters’ flaws, Shakespeare uses three main characters: Hamlet, Ophelia, and Claudius.... [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Gertrude, Macbeth]
1092 words (3.1 pages)
- Hamlet Virtue vs. Villainy
- Ambiguities Explored in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness
- The Role of Women in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness
- Prejudice, Racism and Power in Heart of Darkness
- Degeneration of Kurtz, Colonialism, and Imperialism in Heart of Darkness
- evilhod Uncovering Evil in Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness