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Tragoed Metamorphosis Of The Tragedy In Oedipus Rex, Hamlet, And Desire Under The Elms

806 words - 3 pages

Metamorphosis of the Tragedy in Oedipus Rex, Hamlet, and Desire Under the Elms

Tragedy is considered by many to be the greatest of the genres. Often something goes wrong and exposes something great. Characters generally have more depth as evidenced by Hamlet. Tragedy shows up in the great periods of history: Classical Greece, Renaissance, and the early 20th century. It is a far more complex genre than comedy or romance. It teaches people to think since the storylines never have a simple answer or resolution. We see this in Desire Under the Elms. Family relationships and inheritances are complicated and even when Abbie kills the baby, Eben decides to join her in her guilty plea when he is clearly not a participant in the murder. Unlike comedy, there is less spectacle onstage. Iokaste hangs herself offstage, King Hamlet's murder is only reenacted but not seen directly, and the audience doesn't see Abbie murder her baby. This forces or allows the audience members to use their imaginations to envision these crucial scenes, adding a layer of complexity to the play. Hamlet we are reminded of fate by the line, "There's a divinity that shapes our ends." Then in Desire, Cabot consistently looked to God for direction. These situations don't allow us to remain passive and simply be entertained when we view tragedy. We must grapple with the tough issues of life.


Plot is considered significant in tragedy for many reasons. . Plot examines the limits of human greatness. It is the most examined area in the study of literature probably because it is unique to humans. It can be both edifying for an audience and, at the same time, allow for a catharsis. Plot allows characters to play out their fate. Freud believes that through plot we examine issues in our lives that have been psychologically repressed. His prime example of this is the Oedipal complex.


The Oedipal complex occurs, Freud believed, with most young boys. The father is seen as a rival for the mother's affections. Young boys soon realize that this idea has a vale of silence surrounding it and, as a result, they suppress these instincts. Playwrights use their plots sometimes for a psychological ...

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