The Fall From Power In Hamlet And Oedipus

1117 words - 4 pages

The Fall From PowerIn Hamlet, Prince of Denmark and Oedipus The KingThe plays of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark and Oedipus the King, are very similar in plot because they both are about the kings of their perspective cities being murdered, and the murderer subsequently is crowned king and marries the queen. They are also based on an incestuous relation with the queen. The plays differ in that Hamlet knows who killer of his father is, whereas Oedipus unknowingly kills his father and marries his mother. They have both pledged to avenge the kings' death. The men are initially portrayed as strong and powerful. However, by the end of the plays both men are weak in character and status. There is no reversal by Hamlet, whereas there is both recognition and reversal by Oedipus. The manner in which the conducted themselves, results in additional tragedies.In Oedipus the King, the queen and Laius the murdered king were told by a prophet that Oedipus, their newborn son, would kill his father and marry his mother. To avoid committing this terrible sin, they instructed their servant to kill him but, instead, out of compassion for Oedipus, he gave him to a childless couple. After reaching adulthood, Oedipus would later be warned by an oracle of the same fate that was predicted by the prophet. To avoid committing this horrific act against the people that he thought were his real parents, Oedipus left and on his journey he came across some servant who cut him off in his path. In a fit of rage, he killed all but one of the passengers. Among the dead was Laius, the King of Thebes and Oedipus's natural father. Soon after, he would be crowned king of Thebes for answering the riddle of the Sphinx and would marry the queen.The priests of Thebes came to visit Oedipus because of the undue suffering of the people and the animals of Thebes. They had great respect for him as king because he had defeated the Sphinx; however, they did not think that he was doing enough to bring an end to the suffering. He seemed genuinely concerned and assured the priests that he would find the reason for the plague. Oedipus sent Creon, his dear friend and both of the queen to Apollo, the god to find out what was causing the suffering. The message from Apollo was 'that relief from the plague can only come way. Uncover the murders of Laius, put them to death or drive them into exile'(1129). The leader suggested to Oedipus that he seek answers from Lord Tiresias, the blind prophet because he sees with the eyes of Lord Apollo and could shed some light on who was responsible for the crime.(1128). He agreed and summoned him to the castle. At first, Lord Tiresias was very reluctant to tell Oedipus what he knew. However, after he insulted him by calling him a scheming quack, he told him that he was responsible for the curse. Oedipus became very angry and upset by his comment. After provoking Tiresias further, he told him that he is the murderer. Oedipus became enraged and mocked his blindness as well...

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