The Fall From Power In Hamlet and Oedipus

Essay by Anonymous UserUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, November 1996

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The Fall From Power

In Hamlet, Prince of Denmark and Oedipus The King

The plays of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark and Oedipus the King, are very similar in plot because they both are about the kings of their perspective cities being murdered, and the murderer subsequently is crowned king and marries the queen. They are also based on an incestuous relation with the queen. The plays differ in that Hamlet knows who killer of his father is, whereas Oedipus unknowingly kills his father and marries his mother. They have both pledged to avenge the kings' death. The men are initially portrayed as strong and powerful. However, by the end of the plays both men are weak in character and status. There is no reversal by Hamlet, whereas there is both recognition and reversal by Oedipus. The manner in which the conducted themselves, results in additional tragedies.

In Oedipus the King, the queen and Laius the murdered king were told by a prophet that Oedipus, their newborn son, would kill his father and marry his mother.

To avoid committing this terrible sin, they instructed their servant to kill him but, instead, out of compassion for Oedipus, he gave him to a childless couple. After reaching adulthood, Oedipus would later be warned by an oracle of the same fate that was predicted by the prophet. To avoid committing this horrific act against the people that he thought were his real parents, Oedipus left and on his journey he came across some servant who cut him off in his path. In a fit of rage, he killed all but one of the passengers. Among the dead was Laius, the King of Thebes and Oedipus's natural father. Soon after, he would be crowned king of Thebes for answering the riddle of the...