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Tragedy can occur no matter what one does to try to prevent it Whether one tries to act to avoid a tragedy or does not act to avoid it tragedy will happen anyway In Sophocles Oedipus Rex Oedipus tries to avoid tragedy by running away from it but it does not work in William Shakespeares Hamlet Hamlet also tries to avoid tragedy but he does it by not acting on the task assigned to him Though William Shakespeares Hamlet and Sophocles Oedipus Rex are both similar in that they are both examples of a classic tragedy they have a major vital difference that Hamlet is a tragedy of inaction and Oedipus is a tragedy of action To compare any two things one must first check that there is any similarity between the two both Hamlet and Oedipus Rex conform to the same classic tragic formula In both William Shakespeares Hamlet Hamlet is a member of the royal family and in fact is next in line to the throne You are the most immediate to our throne1 We see from this quote that Claudius the then current king of Denmark has maintained that Hamlet will remain heir to the throne This Hamlet as the second most powerful man in Denmark because to anger him now is to invoke a kings anger in the years to come However in Sophocles Oedipus Rex Oedipus is as the title suggests ruler king of Thebes2 also he clearly states that his high position in the social hierarchy by saying I am myself world-famous Oedipus3 One therefore knows that Oedipus is in high standing in both the political and the social hierarchy of the times because he is both a king and world famous But the classic tragic formula not only needs a hero who is in a position of high status but also to have the same hero fall from that position of status In William Shakespeares Hamlet Hamlet
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