Oedipus vs. Hamlet as Tragic Heroes

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Oedipus from the drama, “Oedipus the King” and Hamlet from, “Hamlet, Prince of Denmark” are two characters that are different, yet they both share the same title of being a tragic hero. Oedipus and Hamlet have many characteristics of a tragic hero that separates them in varieties. However, some of those characteristics show that both characters have and use similar thought processes and methods, which classify them as tragic heroes of their dramas. The five characteristics of a tragic hero are: nobility, tragic flaw, peripeteia, anagnorisis, and lastly irony. Both Oedipus and Hamlet hold or have a nobility position in their drama’s plot. Oedipus is the son of the king, and fate has foretold that he will kill his father and take over the…show more content…
Oedipus’s tragic flaw is gained once he obtained his greatness and became king. Oedipus’s knowledge contained arrogance, and a metaphorical blindness that fosters his urge for the truth. Hence, Oedipus’s tragic flaw was his own intelligence, which later became curiosity for the all the burdens that is be fallen over his kingdom. He had a troubling obsession for learning the truth, so he could not sit aside so he went on a menacing quest for answers. Oedipus stated a message that reveled his flaw, “Then once more I must bring what is dark to light, but for my own sake to be rid of evil” ( Sophocles 134; 140). His pride and determination clouded his judgment to see the surface of the whole truth. The truth is Oedipus wanted to avoid his fate, but instead his own tragic flaw walked him into it. Even after Oedipus learned of the truth from the prophecy, his mind continued to deny what was the actual truth. The prophet spoke these words to Oedipus, “I say that you, with your eyes, are blind / you can not see the wretchedness of your life” (Sophocles 196-197). He still ventured on to find the alternative to his fate and he only became worse. Soon Oedipus’s pride corrupted his intelligence increasing his flaw. He now accused anyone who restated the prophecy and told all they were only after his crown. Hamlet also has the same arrogance that not only leads him to

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