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Dramatic literature - Essay Example

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The two plays “Sophocles: Oedipus the King” and “Shakespeare: A Comedy of Errors” are two of the most celebrated literary works. Both the plays share similar themes and they pursue those themes from completely different aspects…
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Dramatic literature
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Dramatic literature

Download file to see previous pages... The extent of the sin is reflected by the severity of the resultant fate. Both the plays explore the genre of tragedy in a very plausible manner. Following is a sequential comparison of both the plays. Sophocles: Oedipus the King In Oedipus the Kind, Sophocles emphasizes upon the inevitability of fate. A man cannot escape his fate notwithstanding his struggles. Even if a man sets out on a path to escape his fate, it may later be disclosed that the path was actually leading him to his fate. Same may be the theme in this play. The play represents that the lives of humans depend upon the choices they make in their lifetimes. If the choices are good, they will be rewarded with good fate; and if the choices are evil, they will be given a similar fate. However, in case of Oedipus, his fate was decided at the time of his inception (Frank, 5). He was never given an option to change his path. A prophecy was disclosed at the time of Oedipus’s conception and it was this fate that determined an uneven life for Oedipus with tragic consequences. The way the role of fate has been emphasized in this play is highly plausible. All the successes and failures of Oedipus’s life depended upon his underlying fate. The prophecy disclosed that he was bound to kill his own father and then marry his own mother, and his whole life led him to that one inevitable moment when he fulfills his destiny. Upon hearing the prophecy, his father attempted to get the infant Oedipus killed and he had several narrow escapes from death. His mother was supposed to kill him but due to her motherly love, she was unable to do so. The servant, instead of killing him by hand, decides to leave the infant at mountain top to die due to exposure to severe weather. After escaping death once already, Oedipus does it again when a shepherd finds him and saves him from the mountain top. This is where the actual tragedy of life decided by his fate starts to unfold. The shepherd takes Oedipus to Corinth where he is taken by King Polybus. Oedipus is raised believing that King Polybus and his wife Merope are his actual parents. He remains unaware of this fact throughout his life. This is one of the ways of fate through which he is led towards his ultimate destiny of killing his own father and marrying his own mother. The way every single event of Oedipus’s life has been depicted in the play emanates his underlying fate. No matter how far he gets from his actual parents, he comes across them in the most unlikely of circumstances and fulfills his destiny without even realizing the truth. He ultimately kills his own father on his way to Thebes and takes over the throne. He marries the King’s widow who was his own mother and he bears several children. He remains satiated until the truth unfolds. He comes across the truth when he is teased by the following riddle:                         Revealed at last, brother and father both                         to the children he embraces, to his mother                         son and husband both- he sowed the loins                         his father sowed, he spilled his father’s blood. (1313). The full force of the underlying tragedy hits when truth is revealed. There is a mix of pain, grief, and loathing. The play touches the boundaries of tragic storytelling by ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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