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A Comparison and Contrast of: Oedipus the King & Hamlet - Essay Example

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the “Oedipus the King” by Sophocles and “Hamlet” by Shakespeare. Both of the literary works talk about the tragedies of kings while drawing the reader’s attention towards the theme of Hamartia and fate. The term Hamartia was introduced by Aristotle in his famous work the Poetics. Hamartia is a human error committed in ignorance but it may cause the sever damages to people around the offender and committer especially, if committed by a king it may inflict a curse on the nation as well. Oedipus Rex is a heart breaking story of a king who driven by his Hamartia happened to kill his father and slept with his mother. The unfortunate king, Oedipus never knew the horrendous crime committed by him in ignorance till late in his life. He never knew that he has committed incest to his mother Jocasta, happened to be his wife and mother at the same time. Jocasta was also ignorant of the fact till she committed suicide when the dreadful crimes were dawned on her. Oedipus soon after his birth was handed over to a shepherd by his mother Jocasta to avoid the fate foretold in an oracle. The oracle pointed out that Oedipus will kill his father and will marry his mother. However the shepherd out of mercy didn’t kill the infant Oedipus, who was ultimately adopted by the Corinth’s King, Polybus.

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Summary

This report draws a comparison and contrast between two master pieces of English Literature i.e. the “Oedipus the King” by Sophocles and “Hamlet” by Shakespeare. Both of the literary works talk about the tragedies of kings while drawing the reader’s attention towards the theme of Hamartia and fate. The …
Author : gmiller
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