The Tragic Heroes Of Sophocles ' A Doll 's House ' Essay

The Tragic Heroes Of Sophocles ' A Doll 's House ' Essay

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“Oedipus Rex”, by Sophocles is a play which perfectly follows the template of tragedy where Oedipus is in search of his own identity. “A Doll’s House”, By Henrik Ibsen is not necessarily a tragic play although it does contain a tragic hero. Nora Helmer and Oedipus are both considered tragic heroes in their own different ways but they come to realize the importance of self-knowledge. To compare and contrast Nora and Oedipus, the analysis can be broken down into 3 stages; both characters statuses at the beginning of the play, their own experience of their downfall and the similarities for the knowledge that they have gained.
In the beginning of both plays, Oedipus and Nora’s initial status can be characterized as high status, both in different ways within the context of the story. Oedipus is a character of grand magnitude who is a rich and powerful leader. He is the king of Thebes who saved his people from the Sphinx. The following quotation from the priest depicts Oedipus high status. “You are not one of the immortal gods, we know; yet we have come to you to make our prayer as to the man surest in mortal ways and wisest in the ways of God. You saved us from the Sphinx, that flinty singer, and the tribute we paid to her so long; yet you were never better informed than we, nor could we teach you: a god’s touch, it seems, enabled you to help us.”(Prologue.35-42) The fact that the priest is referring to Oedipus as an immortal god really shows how much of a great leader he is towards his people. For this reason, his initial status is considered as high status. In the case of Nora, she’s a housewife who is taking care of her kids. At the start of the play, she speaks with excitement and she’s really glad to hear that her husband, Torva...


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... must learn to accept it. On the contrary, Nora seems to benefit more from it because she has the chance to start here life all over again. Although leaving her family was a difficult decision to make, she made the right choice because now she feels liberated from that playroom which brought nothing but a false sense of happiness.
As both characters had high status, their own tragic flaws led them to be blinded by the truth. It was through their downfall that they were able to gain self-knowledge of themselves. Both characters reacted similarly to their own downfall, leaving their own family, but for different reasons. Oedipus stabbed out his own eyes leaving Thebes no longer a king. Nora left her family for independence and to educate herself. Although Nora was put in a tragic situation, she left as a triumphant woman with a new chance of living a meaningful life.

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