Oedipus Rex Vs. Antigone

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Daniel Nierenberg Comparative Essay 11-20-01 "Oedipus Rex" & "Antigone" It is only natural that an author use similar vessels of literature, such as figurative language, literary devices, and elements in his/her work. It is even more apparent between works that are connected by character, time, and theme. Sophocles did this when he wrote "Oedipus Rex" and "Antigone". When comparing the two pieces, it becomes evident that very similar vessels connected these very different plays.

Sophocles uses a specific type of figurative language in both pieces known as hamartia. Hamartia is a characters flaw. The flaw often leads to a major downfall by its owner. In both "Oedipus Rex" and "Antigone", there are three reoccurring hamartias: hubris,
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""¦to waste away in barrenness, unmarried". Sophocles followed through with the curse in "Antigone". We see that Oedipus ' line ends in this piece. Ismene, the youngest daughter, is so traumatized by the events in "Oedipus Rex" that she becomes a priestess and therefore will never have children. The two sons, Polyneices and Eteocles, wind up dying at the hands of one another in a great civil war. As for Antigone, her death is the worst of all. Although in "Antigone", Sophocles establishes a relationship between Haimon and Antigone, Antigone pays the ultimate price for trying to bury her brother. One cannot ignore that fact that Creon was Oedipus ' uncle/brother. Therefore it is safe to assume that with the death of Haimon, there is no hope for even the slightest bit of Oedipus ' blood to be passed on. And thus, the cycle of sins of the father is complete.

Sophocles ' plays each have a noble/tragic hero as the main character. The definition of a tragic hero, according to Aristotle, is a man who is neither good nor bad, whose misfortune arises from frailty or error. They must be prosperous and well known. The tragic hero must fall in front of our eyes. The hero must start off high, fall, and at the end rise up higher than before. A noble hero is the same except he/she does not have as many flaws as the tragic hero.

Oedipus was, of course, a

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