Oedipus vs. Hamlet: a Character Comparison Essay
1077 WordsNov 18th, 20065 Pages
This paper is the rough draft version. There are grammatical errors and other such errors in it.
Oedipus vs. Hamlet: A Character Comparison After reading Sophocles' Oedipus the King and Shakespeare's Hamlet, it is quiet clear that Oedipus is by far the more admirable character of the two. Aside from Oedipus' history and life experience, his superior character traits are also displayed in the way he handles several incidents throughout the play. One of the primary reasons Oedipus' is more admirable than Hamlet is just their history. Oedipus is a king. He got there by saving the city of Thebes from a horrible Sphinx by solving a riddle. In this way, Oedipus earned the trust of his people and earned the position of king. On the other…show more content…
Instead, however, he hatches this elaborate and confusing plot, which involves acting mad, directing a play to "see" how Claudius reacts and turning his back on his love, Ophelia. When Claudius is praying in the church, later in the play, Hamlet comes up with a reason not to revenge his father. He reasons he can't kill Claudius while he is praying because it will only send him to heaven. This is an obvious excuse not to act. Hamlet is extremely inactive and passive. Another reason Oedipus' is a more commendable character than Hamlet is because of the differences in the way they treat the women they love. Oedipus is clearly in love with Jocasta, showing it by treating her well and respecting her opinion on things. Hamlet decides to act like someone who is crazy, and disrespects Ophelia even going as far as to talk bad to her. He even tells her he never loved her. "I loved you not." (116) In addition, the mere fact that Oedipus confides in Jocasta shows the love and trust they have between each other. Oedipus suspects himself of murdering the king, and he confides in Jocasta what he thinks he's guilty of. This is a secret that could possibly destroy him, yet he tells his wife. Hamlet isn't even guilty of murder. He simply suspects his uncle killed his father. Instead of
Comparing Hamlet and Oedipus the King Essay example
652 Words3 Pages
Images of disease dominate Shakespeare's Hamlet as well as Sophocles play, Oedipus the King, Both Hamlet and Oedipus face many problems with death. Hamlet is seeking out the killer of his father as well as Oedipus. They feel that justice hasn't been served properly and they must seek out the killer of their fathers' in order for justice to be served. In both Hamlet and Oedipus the King, there is mass turmoil amongst family relationships, the inner problems they face, and the lack of free will they had.
In Shakespeare's Hamlet, there is much skepticism as to what exactly is "rotten in Denmark." Claudius, the "incestuous, adulterate beast," essentially adopts this title as he exists as the root of all evil within the play…show more content…
"Tiresias, master of all omens-public and secret, in the sky and on the earth-your mind, if not your eyes, sees how the city lives with a plague" (Sophocles 1.305). When asked to reveal the pollutant, Tiresias was apprehensive do to the understanding of what he knew. "Let me go home! If you will listen to me, You will endure your troubles better-and I mine (1.325). Tiriesias' wisdom was so great that once he revealed it, even Oedipus cried out that the profit was not blind. Sophocles points out that there is great power behind understanding through Tiresias. Oedipus could not escape his destiny and had lack of free will to do as he pleased. His life was mapped out for him the moment he was brought into the world.
Hamlet has many problems dealing with the fact that his mother married his uncle less than two months after the death of his father. Hamlet sees his mother's remarriage as disgusting and sees murdering Claudius as a way of freeing his mother of an incestuous marriage as well as avenging his father. Hamlet and his mother's relationship is also shown as more sexual than the traditional mother son relationship because of Hamlet's long and private conversation with his mother, as well as his rivalry toward Claudius for his mother's attentions. Hamlet makes numerous sexually allusions. The "closet scene" in Act 3 Scene 4, proves to be essential in understanding Hamlet's and Gertrude's relationship because the