Contact Us
Sign In / Sign Up for FREE
Go to advanced search...

Tragic Themes and the Commonality between the Characters in Macbeth, Hamlet, and Oedipus Rex - Literature review Example

Comments (0) Cite this document
This paper "Tragic Themes and the Commonality between the Characters in Macbeth, Hamlet, and Oedipus Rex" examines the similarities between these three Shakespeare's masterpieces and establishes undercurrents of different emotions and deeds and the foreboding of death in all plays. All protagonists have a flaw, which brings about their downfall…
Download full paperFile format: .doc, available for editing
GRAB THE BEST PAPER95.6% of users find it useful
Tragic Themes and the Commonality between the Characters in Macbeth, Hamlet, and Oedipus Rex
Read TextPreview

Extract of sample "Tragic Themes and the Commonality between the Characters in Macbeth, Hamlet, and Oedipus Rex"

Download file to see previous pages Tragedy has been a theme for playwrights since the beginning of literature, well explored by Greek poets like Sophocles, medieval English writers, and Elizabethan playwrights, of which Shakespeare is prominent. The most prominent cause of the tragedy in these plays would be the tragic hero fighting against his/her impending doom. ‘The tragic hero is divided "between imperative and impulse, between a moral ordinance and unruly passion . . . between law and lust" (Heilman 207).’ (Brown, 2009). If we explore the similarities between the two Elizabethan dramas, Macbeth, Hamlet, and the ancient Greek tragedy, Oedipus, we find that the protagonists have that fatal flaw which draws them to their downfall and all other elements that make a tragedy. When these protagonists live, they teach us many lessons with the mistakes that they commit in their life. They seem to exist to attain the ultimate goal of death.” We admire the daring, uncompromising spirit of the tragic hero while recognizing that what he gains in the intensity of life, he often pays for with its brevity.” (Brown, 2009). Shakespeare’s tragedies “follow a basic pattern of complication, crisis, and conclusion but with multiple variations.” (Brown, 2009). If we compare and seek similarities between the characters of the three works, we find that as mentioned above, all protagonists unconsciously seek their own fall. Hamlet muses far too much over his father’s death and even when his father has shown him the path of revenge, he fails to kill Claudius when he has the chance. Macbeth on the other hand, blinded easily by ambition and avarice, kills Duncan in haste without pondering over the consequences. Oedipus’s flaw is his colossal ego or Hubris. It does not bring about his misery directly but does lead to it. Oedipus, drunk on his youth and arrogance, kills his own father, Laius, at the crossroads on his way to Thebes, while fleeing from Delphi’s oracle’s prophecy that Oedipus will commit patricide and have incestuous relations with his mother.  ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
Cite this document
  • APA
  • MLA
(Tragic Themes and the Commonality between the Characters in Macbeth, H Literature review, n.d.)
Tragic Themes and the Commonality between the Characters in Macbeth, H Literature review. Retrieved from
(Tragic Themes and the Commonality Between the Characters in Macbeth, H Literature Review)
Tragic Themes and the Commonality Between the Characters in Macbeth, H Literature Review.
“Tragic Themes and the Commonality Between the Characters in Macbeth, H Literature Review”.
  • Cited: 0 times
Comments (0)
Click to create a comment or rate a document

CHECK THESE SAMPLES OF Tragic Themes and the Commonality between the Characters in Macbeth, Hamlet, and Oedipus Rex

Oedipus Rex

...the characters because of the innocence that Oedipus possesses, plus the fact that he is predestined to do all of his actions, he can be forgiven by today’s social standards. Because, as an audience, we see that he is only human and is prone to make mistakes. Not only that, the play also says we humans are mere playthings by Gods. Bibliography: Bratt, Carolyn. Incest Statutes and The Fundamental Right to Marriage: Is Oedipus Free to Marry? 18, Family Law Quarterly 257 (1985): 257-261. Web. 11 May 2011. “Constitutionality of Prohibition on Incest”. USlegal, 2010. Web. 11 May 2011. Sophocles. Oedipus Rex (Dover Thrift Editions). Trans. Sir...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Tragic Dramas of Oedipus Rex and Antigone

...the metropolis. While many of the plays were comedies, demonstrating the more ridiculous consequences that could be experienced if individuals did not abide by the established codes of conduct, others were dramas, revealing much more serious potentialities that could affect more than just the average citizen. As they were presented, these dramas demonstrated the degree to which the entire culture could be disrupted if someone in power chose to break the rules. Some of these dramas have survived into the modern day because they had such a profound effect on their audiences and told stories about mythological or legendary characters and events. Dramas such as Oedipus Rex and Antigone are...
6 Pages(1500 words)Essay

Macbeth themes

... In Macbeth, which is one of Shakespeare most renowned tragedies, the plot revolves around the Macbeth who was appointed the Thane of Cawdor by King Duncan and conspired with his wife to kill the King so he could succeed him. Several themes emerge that serve to enhance characters and plot development, in this paper Appearance vs. reality, Kingship vs. tyranny and Ambition will be examined. Appearance vs. Reality Several of the characters put up a front that is different form their real self to conceal their evil and murderous intention or in some cases noble ones. Through this theme, Shakespeare developed his characters and the events in the plot as well as creating suspense since the audience is often confused about the motives... of the...
3 Pages(750 words)Essay

Oedipus Rex (play) Critique

...Oedipus Rex Review Topic: No man can escape their predetermined fate. Quote A: Oedipus was determined to find the murderer and asked Creon about the context surrounding the crime. He was told that Laius was on pilgrimage when he was slain. The only witness fled the scene indicating that there was a group of robbers. B: "I go, but first will tell thee why I came. Thy frown I dread not, for thou canst not harm me. Hear then: this man whom thou hast sought to arrest With threats and warrants this long while, the wretch Who murdered Laius--that man is here." (5-6) C: This quotation indicates that Oedipus curiosity of the murder of his father. This is a unique quote in that...
3 Pages(750 words)Movie Review

Fate of Oedipus Rex

...Number] Fate of Oedipus Rex The Greek tragedy Oedipus the King or Oedipus Rex written by ancient Greek tragedian Sophocles was performed in c.429 BCE for the first time. It has been regarded as the most notable monuments in the world literature. The story revolves around a nobleman Oedipus who was settled in his life with his known parents but things abruptly changed after receiving a prophecy. The tale of Oedipus raises several questions about fate that compelled people to act in certain manner to fulfil the things decided in their fate and often revealed to them through prophecy. The tragedy also gives a lesson to...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay

Oedipus Rex

...“Oedipus Rex Murder will out— Discuss Oedipus Rex as an example of the old adage, “Murder will out.” The phrase ‘murder will out’ primarily means that at a later time in the future, misdeeds or dark secrets would reveal themselves and in Oedipus Rex, this applies when Oedipus inquires through Tiresias who will kill Laius. Then the blind prophet replies to Oedipus in riddles stating that the one who murders Laius will turn out to be both father and brother to his children as well as husband and son to his mother. Eventually, Oedipus himself finds out that his origin is from Thebes and...
1 Pages(250 words)Assignment

Irony in Oedipus Rex

... October Irony in Oedipus Rex The novel Oedipus Rex is full of different types of ironies: dramatic irony, double irony, and verbal irony, just to name a few. An example of the verbal irony can be seen when Oedipus addresses his people and says that he feels the sickest among them all because of the trouble they are in, whereas his people actually think of him as the sickest because they know that Oedipus sleeps with his mother. Oedipus Rex reflects dramatic irony in its dialogue. Dramatic irony is essentially the characters’ misunderstanding of the words’ real meanings and their significance. For instance, Oedipus commits to locate and penalize the one found guilty irrespective of where he/she belonged as his words may show... , “but as if...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay

Oedipus rex

...Topic Oedipus Rex Introduction The story of Oedipus , even though it is a folk tale has many morale to be conveyed to the readers. Oedipus is a fictitious character who was destined to marry his mother after killing his father. In the opening scene of play of “Oedipus” the character of him reflects that of a politician who is backed up by the citizens of his kingdom and one who is closely attached to the perceptions and feelings of his subjects. The opening line in the scene expresses the concern and anxiety of Oedipus as a ruler for the downfall of his country .In the play, during the encounter with...
2 Pages(500 words)Essay

Comparation of Themes, Meanings, Characters of Hamlet With Oedipus

...Compare and Contrast Their Themes, Meanings, Characters of “Hamlet” With “Oedipus” Both Hamlet and Oedipus are men from two different eras; therefore, they have different cultural differences as in they way they think, worship or live. Oedipus grew during the time of the Greek gods. The gods did not hesitate to show their anger, and this is witnessed in their destruction of the Titans. Contrary, Hamlet grew up during the catholism, therefore he was greatly shaped by the teachings and policies of the time (Jones 110). The theme of tragedy exists in both Oedipus and...
1 Pages(250 words)Essay

Oedipus Rex

...of the play the author has taken into account the prevailing social and cultural beliefs and he has rendered justice to each section of the society. Right from the top level and down to the common men, all find the appropriate roles in the play. The chorus, though seemingly unimportant, connects the interactions between the different characters meaningfully and contributes to maintain the secrecy and the mysterious nature of the play. Oedipus is the titled character, obviously the most important one. He is famous for his genius and possesses ability to solve the riddles. He solves the riddle of Sphinx the mystical being that holds the city captive. The...
4 Pages(1000 words)Essay
sponsored ads
We use cookies to create the best experience for you. Keep on browsing if you are OK with that, or find out how to manage cookies.

Let us find you another Literature review on topic Tragic Themes and the Commonality between the Characters in Macbeth, Hamlet, and Oedipus Rex for FREE!

Contact Us