Essay on The Tragedy Of Sophocles ' Oedipus And Hamlet

Essay on The Tragedy Of Sophocles ' Oedipus And Hamlet

Length: 921 words (2.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

A tragic play is a combination of dramatic scenes that act out a tragic event and usually labors unhappy endings. The play would usually portray the downfall of the main character. According to Aristotle, “Every Tragedy therefore must have six parts, which parts determine its quality—namely, Plot, Character, Diction, Thought, Spectacle, Song.” Based on Aristotle’s definition, Oedipus and Hamlet are a good examples tragedy. They both have been developed with a strong Plot and Characters. According to Aristotle, Plot is considered to be “the soul of tragedy” and very important in a play. Aristotle also implies Character to be second in line when it comes to developing a successful tragedy.
A well formed plot should be unified in a way, in which the action can flow from one event to the next to complete the storyline. The unity helps the tragedy play out and express its powerful emotions of fear and pity. Aristotle says, “Tragedy, then, is an imitation of an action that is serious, complete, and of a certain magnitude; … in form of action, not of narrative; though pity and fear effecting the proper purgation of these emotion.” Oedipus exhibits a strong plot that moves the play forwards. Oedipus is a play that tells about a man by the name of Oedipus who becomes the king of Thebes, while unwilling fulfills the prophecy that forsake that he would kills his father and merry his mother. According to Aristotle, a good tragic plot is of the hero experiencing a misfortune because of fate or tragic flaw. Also, Aristotle believed the tragic hero should be of noble birth and should suffer consequences of his own mistake. For example, King Oedipus is man of noble birth who was fated to do a tragic dead. He had also rashly cursed the killer ...


... middle of paper ...


...y. Aristotle says, “Besides, the production of spectacular effects depends more on the art of the stage machinist than on that of a poet.” Aristotle believes that the poet has nothing to do with the visual effects of the stage, but it’s the stage workers who should be credited. Finally, the Song element of the play is the chorus presented throughout the play to narrate the story as it moves.
Any play that uses the basic six elements: Plot, Character, Diction, Thought, Spectacle, and Song could be described as a classic Aristotelian Tragedy. Shakespeare and Sophocles wove a classic tragedy with the threads of the basic elements. Hamlet and Oedipus are a said to be unique masterpieces of their times. Aristotle drew a very narrow line on what a perfect tragedy should include and yet both play writers wrote along those lines to present a work of art for the audience.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Essay on The Tragedy Of Sophocles ' Oedipus Rex And Hamlet '

- There is no doubt that tragedy has changed considerably since Aristotle first wrote the definition of tragedy in his Poetics in Ancient Greece, but these changes raise the question of whether modern tragedy still fits the classical definition of tragedy. Tragedy has evolved greatly since the times of the classical tragedies, including Oedipus Rex and Hamlet, to the more modern forms of tragedy, as seen in The Hairy Ape and Death of a Salesman. Despite its evolution and deviation from Aristotle’s definition, modern tragedy holds by the same principles, and retains the same power and message expressed by Aristotelian tragedy....   [tags: Tragedy, Tragic hero, Poetics, Sophocles]

Better Essays
1546 words (4.4 pages)

Tragic Heroes : Oedipus Vs. Hamlet Essay

- Tragic Heroes: Oedipus vs. Hamlet Aristotle once said, “A man doesn’t become a hero until he can see the root of his own downfall”. There is usually some kind of tragedy in drama, involving the character’s life and his/her conflict. The character’s struggle is expressed to an audience through actions and emotions in a theatrical act. In these acts, sometimes a hero is the one experiencing the conflict, known as the “tragic hero”....   [tags: Tragedy, Sophocles, Tragic hero, Hamlet]

Better Essays
1067 words (3 pages)

Dramatic Tragedies: Oedipus Rex and Hamlet Essay

- William Shakespeare and Sophocles were both intellectual playwrights for their time. Shakespeare is considered to be one of the most advanced writers of his time. They both created plays similar in nature such as; “Oedipus Rex” and “Hamlet”. Both plays were consistent of dramatic tragedy. Sophocles wrote about the typical Greek tragedy that consisted of an ill-fated doom for Oedipus. Shakespeare wrote about Kingdom of Denmark where all things fell apart and death was imminent. Each story consisted of a queen that was important to the outcome of each play....   [tags: Shakespeare, Sophocles, tragedy]

Better Essays
713 words (2 pages)

Two Highlights of the Greek Tragedian Era: Hamlet and Oedipus Rex Essay

- The two writers in tragedy showed what many writers couldn’t throughout the Greek tragedian era. Sophocles, who wrote “Oedipus Rex”, portrayed Jocasta as a caring mother who soon turned into a wife of her own son, while Shakespeare, who wrote “Hamlet”, used the same Greek tragedian tools and portrayed Gertrude as a naïve mother who made one decision that separated her son, Hamlet, from her. Gertrude was similar to Jocasta in that both were naïve but protective of their own sons. However Jocasta was more aware of the actions she took, even after the prophecy was told....   [tags: Shakespeare, Sophocles, Greek Tragedy]

Better Essays
572 words (1.6 pages)

Essay about Shakespeare 's Hamlet And King Oedipus

- According to the Greek philosopher Aristotle, a tragic hero is defined as someone whose misfortune is not the result of their own vice or corruption, but rather caused by some error of judgment. In the end, the audience should feel both pity for the character’s unfortunate predicament, as well as fear for the tragic end to a seemingly decent person. Both Shakespeare’s play Hamlet, and Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex are, at their core, filled with the basic elements of tragedy, and at the center of it all are the two main characters – Hamlet and King Oedipus....   [tags: Oedipus, Oedipus the King, Tragic hero, Hamlet]

Better Essays
1250 words (3.6 pages)

William Shakespeare's Hamlet and Sophocles' Oedipus the King Essay

- William Shakespeare's Hamlet and Sophocles' Oedipus the King      Though Shakespeares’ Hamlet and Sophocles’ Oedipus the King were written in two different eras, echoes of the latter can be found in the former. The common theme of Hamlet and Oedipus the King is regicide. Also, like in Oedipus the King, there is a direct relationship between the state of the state and the state of their kings. Furthermore, there is also a relationship between Oedipus’ armed entrance into the bedroom in which Jocasta hanged herself, and Hamlet’s confrontation of Gertrude in her bedroom....   [tags: Hamlet Oedipus King Essays]

Better Essays
1377 words (3.9 pages)

Essay on The Tragic Hero Of Oedipus And Oedipus The King

- A tragedy is an event that causes suffering, in literature this translates to the downfall or failure of the principle character. The audience is not only supposed to feel the character’s suffering, but also see through his nature and pick out flaws, which are then used to understand the reason for the downfall. The plays Hamlet by William Shakespeare and Oedipus the King by Sophocles are both centered around a tragic hero. However, Oedipus is the more effective tragic hero because his nature better embodies Aristotle’s elements of a tragedy....   [tags: Tragedy, Sophocles, Oedipus, Emotion]

Better Essays
1298 words (3.7 pages)

Essay about Examining the Tragic Protagonists of "Oedipus Rex" and "Hamlet"

- 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]

Better Essays
644 words (1.8 pages)

Free Will : William Shakespeare 's ' Hamlet ' And ' Oedipus ' Essay

- Free Will: A response to Hamlet and Oedipus The absence or presence of fate and free will is as controversial as religion and science. The question of whether one can exist without the other is purely a matter of perspective, but the amount of evidence for both is vast. Like all topics of this magnitude, the fate or free will influence reaches all aspects of life. In literature, whether knowingly or unknowingly, works are subjective to the author’s ideals, but the interpretation of the works by the reader is a product of his or her ideals....   [tags: Hamlet, Characters in Hamlet, Oedipus, Free will]

Better Essays
2015 words (5.8 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]

Better Essays
774 words (2.2 pages)