Hamlet and Oedipus: Fate, Truth and Destiny
An analysis of the similarities between the characters of Hamlet and Oedipus in William Shakespeare's "Hamlet" and Sophocles' "Oedipus the King".
# 153160 | 1,410 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2013 |
Published on May 05, 2013 in Drama and Theater (English) , Drama and Theater (Greek and Roman) , Shakespeare (Hamlet)
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The paper discusses how both William Shakespeare's Hamlet and Sophocles' Oedipus create tragic situations in their lives because they are all too human. The paper shows how both of these men share certain circumstances; both men must deal with the loss of their father, both men have issues with action; Hamlet is unable to act and Oedipus is too quick to act without thinking, and both men have issues regarding confidence; Hamlet thinks too much and Oedipus thinks he knows everything. The paper highlights the failures of both men and points out how we learn that power and nobility cannot protect man from being human.
From the Paper:"A father's murder compels Hamlet and Oedipus. Immediately upon returning to Elsinore, Hamlet faces his father's death and the suspicion of Claudius. The ghost waste's no time making his request known but Hamlet is stricken with an inner conflict as he ponders seeking revenge. The conflict comes from Hamlet's upbringing and his own fear of killing. Hamlet never reconciles this conflict and, as a result, he can never move forward with confidence. Hamlet's upbringing taught him about the consequences of murder so it is not something he takes lightly. He also struggles with the notion of the ghost and whether or not it is a good ghost or a "goblin damned" (Shakespeare I.iv.44). Hamlet may warm up to the idea that the ghost is good but he is never comfortable with the idea of killing Claudius. Hamlet hopes finding out the truth will help him feel motivated to avenge his father's death but knowing Claudius killed his father does little to inspire Hamlet. Oedipus suffers the loss of his father but in another sense. He never knew his father and his desire to know who the man is might begin innocently but it quickly turns into an act of selfishness and arrogance. Oedipus' situation is especially difficult because he is surrounded by people warning him to stop feeding his curiosity. Both men face the loss of a father and must cope with that loss in their own way."
Sample of Sources Used:
- Shakespeare, William. Hamlet. New York: Washington Square Press. 1992. Print.
- Sophocles. "Oedipus Tyrannus." Sophocles. 2nd ed. Trans. David Greene Ed. Chicago & London: University of Chicago Press, 1991. Print.
Cite this Analytical Essay:
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