Oedipus Vs Cathedreal

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade March 2002

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Comparison Essay The following essay will compare the themes of the Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex, by Sophocles, and the short story "Cathedral", by Raymond Carver. Oedipus Rex, is the story of a family who received a disturbing prophecy about there newborn son, and are forced to give him up. As a result, the child, Oedipus is to be killed, but rather he is given to a king as a gift from one of his shepherds. Oedipus did indeed fulfill the prophecy that stated he would kill his father and sleep with his mother, and his realization of this leads to his tragic downfall. "Cathedral" is about a blind widower who goes to visit an old friend and her husband. At first, the husband is quite uncomfortable because he feels he is unable to deal with a disabled person. His curiosity of the blind man's situation forces him to communicate with the blind man, and eventually leads to the co-operative drawing of a cathedral.

Oedipus Rex takes place in a castle in Thebes. The majority of the story is set in the same place, except for the period where the book looks back to his birth and journey to the present day. Much like Oedipus Rex, "Cathedral" is set in a single place; the house of the husband and wife where the blind man comes to visit. Once again the only time we see any change in setting is when the husband reminisces back to the time when his wife was married to an Air Force pilot in Seattle. This is where she met Robert, the blind man and read him one summer. The two leading characters also share the same feeling of responsibility. Oedipus feels that as the King of Thebes, and head...