Comparing Hamlet And Oedipus The King

881 words - 4 pages

Images of disease dominate Shakespeare's Hamlet as well as Sophocles play, Oedipus the King, Both Hamlet and Oedipus face many problems with death. Hamlet is seeking out the killer of his father as well as Oedipus. They feel that justice hasn't been served properly and they must seek out the killer of their fathers' in order for justice to be served. In both Hamlet and Oedipus the King, there is mass turmoil amongst family relationships, the inner problems they face, and the lack of free will they had.

In Shakespeare's Hamlet, there is much skepticism as to what exactly is "rotten in Denmark." Claudius, the "incestuous, adulterate beast," essentially adopts this title as he exists as the root of all evil within the play (Shakespeare 1.5.42). Claudius acquires a "rotten" disease through the murder of King Hamlet. Not only has Claudius killed King Hamlet but also proceeds to steal his throne and wife. Shakespeare insinuates that the stimulation of Claudius' disease comes from greed and lust. Claudius ambiguously rules the kingdom of Denmark while living a life of lies and corruption. His lies infect the life of his wife, Queen Gertrude, which in turn directly affects Prince Hamlet. His uncle, Claudius composes a life of despair for Hamlet. Hamlet examines the principle of having a God to look up to because he has no voice or preference into whatever thing that comes about. Hamlet goes on along with survival in the "unweeded garden" (Shakespeare I.2.135). He uses this term to discuss Demark as being a jail and specified with the aim of Claudius having commanded for Hamlet to reside in the castle. Claudius is held captive in his own home. Thoughts of suicide begin enter Claudius' mind.

In the play Oedipus the King, a plague has been set upon the city of Thebes. Sophocles uses the blindness of Tiresias to point out the great power behind wisdom and understanding. "Tiresias, master of all omens-public and secret, in the sky and on the earth-your mind, if not your eyes, sees how the city lives with a plague" (Sophocles 1.305). When asked to reveal the pollutant, Tiresias was apprehensive do to the understanding of what he knew. "Let me go home! If you will listen to me, You will endure your troubles better-and I mine (1.325). Tiriesias' wisdom was so great that once he revealed it, even Oedipus cried out that the profit was not blind. Sophocles points out that there is great power behind understanding through Tiresias. Oedipus could not escape his destiny and had lack of free will to do as he pleased. His...

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