Comparison Essay: Oedipus (Sophocles) & Hamlet (Film)

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Comparison Essay: Oedipus (Sophocles) & Hamlet (film)


"Oedipus Rex", according to Aristotle, is the Greek tragedy par excellence (Aristotle & Hammond, 2001). Composed by Sophocles unknown date, has attracted over the centuries and involved many tens of generations of scholars debate about its interpretation. "Hamlet" is the artistic piece of tragedy created in 1601 by William Shakespeare, rewriting of the history of medieval legend and the old English comedy about Prince Hamlet, with the greatest depth that shows the tragedy of humanism in the contemporary world. Many efforts have been put to demonstrate this play in the form of movie films and for our analysis; we have taken hamlet the file starring Mel Gibson. Directed by Franco Zeffirelli and produced in 1990, the movie got nominated for two Academy Awards.


Grounds for Comparisons

Sophocles' Oedipus Rex has its origins in the same soil as Shakespeare's Hamlet. But the changed dealing of the same matter discloses the whole distinction in the cerebral life of these two extensively separated ages of civilization: the material advance of oppression in the emotional being of mankind. In the Oedipus the child's wishful phantasy that underlies it is brought into the open and realized as it would be in a dream. In the movie in general, and playin particular of Hamlet, it aremains arepressed; aand a- ajust aas ain athe acase aof aa aneurosis a-we aonly alearn aof aits aexistence afrom aits ainhibiting aconsequences. aStrangely aenough, athe aoverwhelming aeffect aproduced aby athe amore amodern atragedy ahas aturned aout ato abe acompatible awith athe afact athat apeople ahave aremained acompletely ain athe adark aas ato athe ahero's acharacter. aThe aplay ais abuilt aup aon aHamlet's ahesitations, aand aa amassive aarray aof aefforts aat ainterpreting athem ahave afell ashort ato aproduce aan aoutcome.



Pride is the common theme which can be observed in both Oedipus as well as in the character of the Mel Gibbson starring in Hamlet. Oedipus is the ideal tragic hero and he exemplifies the definition of Aristotle's tragic hero whereas Hamlet became a pessimistic, a coward, and vengeful as the film goes.



Aristotle in "Poetics” writes that the tragic genre is essentially based not only on the pathetic part, on two key elements of the narrative: the agnition and the peripeteia. The agnition consists in the sudden and unexpected recognition of the identity of a character, which determines a turning point in the story (Jones, 2008). The adventure is the sudden reversal of events, a plot twist that turns the mind of one or more players.

Apparently, Oedipus is more than simply a submissive player lost in the play. He made some significant mistakes or we can say judgmental errors (hamartia) that set the course of the successive events into action. Apart from his blindness, and foolishness, his pride plays an important part in the tragedy that takes places around him. Oedipus's pride received a setback when a drunken person let him knows that he is a total bastard, his pride gets so hurt that he could not ...
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