William Shakespeare's Hamlet and Sophocles' Oedipus the King

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William Shakespeare's Hamlet and Sophocles' Oedipus the King

Though Shakespeares’ Hamlet and Sophocles’ Oedipus the King were written in two different eras, echoes of the latter can be found in the former. The common theme of Hamlet and Oedipus the King is regicide. Also, like in Oedipus the King, there is a direct relationship between the state of the state and the state of their kings. Furthermore, there is also a relationship between Oedipus’ armed entrance into the bedroom in which Jocasta hanged herself, and Hamlet’s confrontation of Gertrude in her bedroom. Both plays share the emphasis on a tragic irony in the chain of events that lead up to ritual of catharsis, but the plot of Hamlet makes a much more complicated
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The hubris of Oedipus is demolished when he confides in Jocasta concerning the predictions of the seer Tiresias; she tells him the story of the murder of Laius, and as she speaks, Oedipus comes to recognize the scene and circumstances of the regicide as being the same as those encountered on the road to Thebes. The full hypothesis of his doings come to him and he cries out to Jocasta, “Oh, it is all clear as daylight now (Knox, 54).” However, when he faces the shepherd who had found the child Oedipus, and who now reveals that the child was the same infant who was cast out to the wolves by Laius; Laius had feared the fulfillment of a prophecy that he would die by his own son's hands, and Oedipus now sees that the prophecy has indeed come true, for he has killed his own father and committed incest with his mother. He then blinds himself, as if to acknowledge the charge of the blind seer Tiresias that he was blind in his pride. “Oh God! It has all come true. Light, let this be the last time I see you. I stand revealed -born in shame, married in shame, an unnatural murderer.

Hamlet treats the crime of regicide from a somewhat different point of view, and the young hero becomes a tragic figure less through the sin of pride than through his character flaw. In the first act, after he is conscious of the tormented ghost of his father walking on the ramparts, Hamlet goes to see for himself, and there he is convinced to avenge his father death by his father's
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