Oedipus and Hamlet: Tragic Heroes Analytical Essay by RightRiters

Oedipus and Hamlet: Tragic Heroes
This paper discusses the features of the tragic hero, comparing and contrasting between is Sophocles' "Oedipus Rex" and Shakespeare's "Hamlet."
# 23472 | 1,325 words | 2 sources | MLA | 2002 | US

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The paper begins by looking at the differences between the classical tragic hero and the tragic hero of Shakespearian times. It then moves on to a closer examination of the characteristics of the tragic hero, as illustrated in is Sophocles' "Oedipus Rex." A brief outline of the plot is given and the paper explains how this work fits into the category of the mythological tale. The character flaws responsible for the tragic fall in the play are also discussed. Next the paper moves on to Shakespeare's tragedy, "Hamlet," comparing it with the former tragedy in terms of evidence or lack of "otherworldly forces" to spur on the tragedy and in terms of each plays philosophy concerning fate and free will. The paper concludes by explaining how both of these characters fit the mold of tragic hero.

From the Paper:

"Understanding the Tragic Hero begins with an examination of Oedipus Rex. But, while he is the archetype of this particular literary character, Hamlet is, perhaps, the most well developed and psychologically complex of tragic heroes. For the Greeks, all things in life are preordained, which is what makes for the tragedy of Oedipus, his attempt to make his own destiny. Over the course of time, however, while the form of the tragic hero did not change, the reason for his being tragic did. The social world of the Renaissance had shifted from a philosophy of determinism to one of individualism that we all have the choice to accept or deny our relationship with God. This makes Hamlet a tragic hero who is punished not for a flaunting of destiny, but because he is mad. It is the purpose of this paper to examine both Oedipus Rex and Hamlet as tragic heroes who, because of their different social contexts, made for very different men."

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Oedipus and Hamlet: Tragic Heroes (2003, January 26) Retrieved May 30, 2023, from https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/oedipus-and-hamlet-tragic-heroes-23472/

MLA Format

"Oedipus and Hamlet: Tragic Heroes" 26 January 2003. Web. 30 May. 2023. <https://www.academon.com/analytical-essay/oedipus-and-hamlet-tragic-heroes-23472/>