Oedipus and Hamlet: Tragedies of Faith?
Compares the title characters of Sophocles' "Oedipus Rex" and William Shakespeare's "Hamlet," and examines whether faith plays a role in their tragedies.
# 117904 | 1,048 words | 0 sources | 2009 |
Published on Dec 23, 2009 in Literature (Greek and Roman) , Literature (English) , Drama and Theater (Greek and Roman) , Shakespeare (Hamlet)
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This paper discusses and compares Oedipus and Hamlet, the title characters of two of the most timeless tragedies ever written. The writer focuses on the question of what each may have believed and how their faith may have impacted the outcome of their lives. Both men were either predestined or encouraged to kill their fathers or father figures. Oedipus appears to be the victim of inevitability and his tragedy is the imbalance of fate versus one's own responsibility for one's life. Hamlet, on the other hand, is made aware of Claudius' crime and has choices to make. The paper concludes that Hamlet, supposedly a Christian who might have been expected to know better, far more than the unknowing Oedipus, was his own worst enemy.
From the Paper:"Oedipus was meant to encounter the dire fate that was forecast. However, the tragedy of Oedipus really has another meaning: Choices must be made and carefully weighed. On one hand, it is a stubborn willingness to let the fates decide one's destiny. On the other, the continuing search for "truth" and denying the forces that have predicted that "truth." We know from historians the ancients did not doubt that men could choose, and, through choice, exercise some control over the disposition of their lives. Pit this against what Sophocles has Oedipus claim about man's inability to change the minds of the gods. He is a victim, therefore, because he was unable or unwilling to take responsibility for his own life and uses his search for the ultimate truth as a sort of "smokescreen" to retain and build his power."
Cite this Comparison Essay:
Oedipus and Hamlet: Tragedies of Faith? (2009, December 23) Retrieved June 17, 2019, from https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/oedipus-and-hamlet-tragedies-of-faith-117904/
"Oedipus and Hamlet: Tragedies of Faith?" 23 December 2009. Web. 17 June. 2019. <https://www.academon.com/comparison-essay/oedipus-and-hamlet-tragedies-of-faith-117904/>