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Word Count: 875
When reading the works of two great writers a person can find many similarities between them The underlying themes of Shakespeares Hamlet and Sophocles Oedipus King excite the reader yet leave us with the desire of wanting more There are significant similarities between Oedipus King and Hamlet especially when it relates to the theme of the tormented king incest and Shakespeares and Sophocles metaphorical references to vision and hearing Sophocles Oedipus King and Shakespeares Hamlet both contain the basic elements of tragedy although the Shakespearean tragedy expanded its setting far beyond that of the ancient Greek tragedy The theme of the tormented king is perhaps the strongest comparison between Hamlet and Oedipus King In Hamlet Shakespeare establishes the theme of torment early in the play with the arrival of the ghost of Hamlets murdered father the former King of Denmark Even before the ghost is revealed to Hamlet Shakespeare suggests some instability in Hamlets mind My father I thinks I see my father in my minds eye Act I Scene II Throughout the play the reader will begin to see Hamlet as the tormented prince of Denmark which has always proven to be melancholy bitter cynical and full of hatred The tragic hero of Hamlet finds himself burdened with the task of avenging his fathers death from the start of the play and is not himself the source of the pollution of regicide while Oedipus is of course the unwitting fashioner of his own doom which is unveiled to him through recognition and repentance Sophocles has Oedipus foretelling his own tragedy when speaking to the people of Thebes The city suffers because of the pollution of Oedipus The irony is shown when Oedipus suggest that by avenging Laius he will protect himself or that by getting children upon Jocasta the dead kings wife he will be taking the place of the son of Laius which unknowingly is himself Clearly both Oedipus king
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