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Oedipus Rex by Sophocles and The Tempest by Shakespeare - Essay Example

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Pride is one of the overriding themes in both Oedipus Rex by Sophocles and The Tempest by Shakespeare, although both the playwrights deal with this theme in different contexts and different levels. Whereas in the former play the protagonist single-handedly brought about his tragic end through his presumptuous pride, it did not cause a disastrous result in The Tempest. …
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Oedipus Rex by Sophocles and The Tempest by Shakespeare
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COMPARE Oedipus AND CONTRAST Tempest COMPARE THE ROLE OF PRIDE Pride is one of the overriding themes in both Oedipus Rex by Sophocles and The Tempest by Shakespeare, although both the playwrights deal with this theme in different contexts and different levels. Whereas in the former play the protagonist single-handedly brought about his tragic end through his presumptuous pride, it did not cause a disastrous result in The Tempest. However, both Oedipus Rex and The Tempest have focused on the theme of pride in establishing the devastating effect of pride in an individual’s life. In Oedipus Rex, Oedipus’ pride made the major contribution to the tragedy and it played a major role in the entire turn of events in the play. It is essential to recognize that the protagonist’s pride has contributed heavily to his downfall, although other factors were also partially responsible for the same. In a careful analysis of the play, it becomes lucid that the murder of his father by Oedipus was mainly due to Oedipus’ pride. Pride also caused the protagonist to marry his own mother. It is also important to realize that it was his pride which made Oedipus search for the murderer of Laius, which revealed his own crime and his tragedy. The words of Creon in Strophe II are applicable to the role of pride in the protagonist’s life and end: “If that thou thinkest self-willed pride avails, / Apart from judgment, know thou art not wise.” (Sophocles, 31) In the same way, Shakespeare’s The Tempest the theme of pride plays a crucial role along with selfishness and lack of self-discipline. In the play, Prospero is the epitome of pride and it causes him to lose control over the events at certain point in the course of the play. Pride is the major reason why Prospero has been unable to control his obsession with magic. He exhibits a sort of childish pride in the cleverness of his spiriting and Ariel is the victim of this pride. “If thou more murmur’st, I will rend an oak / And peg thee in his knotty entrails till / Thou hast howled away twelve winters.” (Act I, Scene II, line 294-6) Works Cited Shakespeare, William. The Tempest. Harvard University Press. 1864 Sophocles. Oedipus Rex (Oedipus the King). E H Plumptre. (Transln). Publishing. 2005. P 31. Read More
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