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Efthimios Mariakakis Professor Mihailovic 5-14-01 Though Shakespeares Hamlet and Sophocles Oedipus the King were written in two different eras echoes of the latter can be found in the former The common theme of Hamlet and Oedipus the King is regicide Also like in Oedipus the King there is a direct relationship between the state of the state and the state of their kings Furthermore there is also a relationship between Oedipus armed entrance into the bedroom in which Jocasta hanged herself and Hamlets confrontation of Gertrude in her bedroom Both plays share the emphasis on a tragic irony in the chain of events that lead up to ritual of catharsis but the plot of Hamlet makes a much more complicated character than that of the classic Greek tragedy of Oedipus the King 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 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 Mariakakis 2 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 as a result of Oedipuspride and 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 I will bring it all to light I shall rid us of this pollution not for the sake of a distant relative but for my own sake Knox 10 The irony reaches its peak when Oedipus calls
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