Fate And The Circunstancial Downfall Of Character In Oedipus Rex

698 words - 3 pages

Circumstantial Downfall
Fate and the circumstantial downfall of characters (usually surrounding the protagonist) is a reoccurring theme seen throughout the Eras of theatre (specifically between the plays Oedipus Rex [Greek Theatre] and King Lear [Elizabethan Thatre.]) Fate and falling victim to circumstance is one of the same; fate is just a predetermination made by a higher being (gods,) while circumstance is almost always the result of causation; contrary to the psychological phrase correlation does not imply causation which means that a relation between two variables does not imply that one is the cause of the other. For those who lived during the Greek Theatre Era (600-200 BC,) the explanation of “fate” was considered an acceptable means to justify the unknown, and/or to gain information/knowledge. Audiences eventually became more literate and the reliance on the gods to help make sense of why something has happened slowly diminished; this cultural reformation demanded the same change to occurr within the theatre, which correlated fate with falling victim to circumstance. In the case of William Shakespeare’s “King Lear,” which occurred during the renaissance, the circumstances in which the characters experienced in the beginning of the play showed to hold merit later on in the play by ultimately setting up a situation that was unavoidable; much like the predetermined destinies of Oedipus and other protagonists in the genre tragedy. Lear can be considered a victim of his own circumstances with the evidence being that the tragic destiny he endured with no escape (being betrayed by his heirs, bannished, going mad, etc) occurred just as it does in many other tragedies.
In the beginning Act I, Lear is introduced to the audience as an egotistical, power hungry mad-man who’s first shown demanding the love and loyalty of his three daughters Goneril, Regan and Cordellia. He banishes his most loyal subject Kent for a plea to reconsider his rash judgment of disowning the only daughter (of the three) who truly loved him; ironic to think that Lear banished the two people who truly loved and respected him. He...

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