Oedipus vs. Hamlet: a Character Comparison Essay

1077 Words Nov 18th, 2006 5 Pages
This paper is the rough draft version. There are grammatical errors and other such errors in it.

Oedipus vs. Hamlet: A Character Comparison After reading Sophocles' Oedipus the King and Shakespeare's Hamlet, it is quiet clear that Oedipus is by far the more admirable character of the two. Aside from Oedipus' history and life experience, his superior character traits are also displayed in the way he handles several incidents throughout the play. One of the primary reasons Oedipus' is more admirable than Hamlet is just their history. Oedipus is a king. He got there by saving the city of Thebes from a horrible Sphinx by solving a riddle. In this way, Oedipus earned the trust of his people and earned the position of king. On the other
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Instead, however, he hatches this elaborate and confusing plot, which involves acting mad, directing a play to "see" how Claudius reacts and turning his back on his love, Ophelia. When Claudius is praying in the church, later in the play, Hamlet comes up with a reason not to revenge his father. He reasons he can't kill Claudius while he is praying because it will only send him to heaven. This is an obvious excuse not to act. Hamlet is extremely inactive and passive. Another reason Oedipus' is a more commendable character than Hamlet is because of the differences in the way they treat the women they love. Oedipus is clearly in love with Jocasta, showing it by treating her well and respecting her opinion on things. Hamlet decides to act like someone who is crazy, and disrespects Ophelia even going as far as to talk bad to her. He even tells her he never loved her. "I loved you not." (116) In addition, the mere fact that Oedipus confides in Jocasta shows the love and trust they have between each other. Oedipus suspects himself of murdering the king, and he confides in Jocasta what he thinks he's guilty of. This is a secret that could possibly destroy him, yet he tells his wife. Hamlet isn't even guilty of murder. He simply suspects his uncle killed his father. Instead of
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