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Its effect on people, however, is often subtle at the start and hard to detect. Most proud people will never consider themselves to be truly proud until they come face to face with the consequences of their pride.
Sophocles and Shakespeare both address this dilemma in their plays Oedipus and Othello. Through their nobility, their tragic flaws, the fall these flaws cause, and the suffering and wisdom they derive from these falls, Oedipus and Othello reveal the true character of the tragic hero and show the devastating consequences of pride.
Both Oedipus and Othello are distinguished by nobility: Oedipus by birth and deed and Othello by a distinguished career. Oedipus is the son of King Laius and Jocasta his wife, the king and queen of Thebes. Because of an oracle prophesying that King Laius will be murdered by his son, Oedipus is left to die in "the mountains where Cithaeron is" He is then rescued by a shepherd and raised by "Polybus.
Not only is Oedipus noble in his birth and upbringing, he is also noble in deed. Upon coming to Thebes as a young man, Oedipus answers the riddle of the Sphinx, who is terrorizing the citizens, and rids the city of this monster. In turn he is made King of Thebes and marries, unknowingly, his mother, the queen.
Othello, on the other hand, is noble only by deed. He is a Moor and a barbarian by Venetian customs. He is an outsider, yet he is accepted by the Venetian people because of his distinguished career as general of the Venetian army. In defense of his lack of noble heritage, Othello asserts: It is his rank that makes him noble.
His contemporaries also praise him as "brave Othello" 2. Oedipus and Othello have the nobility that a true tragic hero must have, yet this nobility is only the armor that covers the true weakness that lies within each man.
Although they show it in different ways, Oedipus and Othello both suffer from a similar character flaw, the sin of pride. When the priest, at the beginning of the story, begs Oedipus to help the people in the time of famine and trouble, he states: Othello also suffers from the hamartia of pride.
His pride, however, stems from his insecurity concerning his appearance and social graces. Othello admits freely that he is "rude. When Iago prods him, Othello says: Later, when speaking to Desdemona, Othello whines: Othello fears that other men will laugh at him because of the unfaithfulness of his wife, and his pride is what truly motivates his desire for revenge.
Pride becomes the fertile ground in both Oedipus and Othello for the seeds of their destruction and ruin. Although the details vary, Oedipus and Othello both suffer great shame and loss because of the pride within their hearts. Then he begins to lose those things that are most precious to him.
First, he loses his mother and wife as Jocasta is found "hanging, the twisted rope around her neck" In doing this terrible deed, he also loses those things most precious to him.
First, he loses his true love as Desdemona forgives him from her death bed by trying to hide his guilt.
When asked "Who has done this deed? Then he completely loses his honor as he is replaced by Cassio as governor and branded a murderer. Finally, he loses his life as he declares: Pride destroys both Oedipus and Othello.
Oedipus and Othello both learn through their experiences that pride is a destructive vice indeed, and that men who choose to be proud are destined for great suffering in this life. Blind Oedipus and dead Othello, who feared even greater suffering beyond the grave, are true tragic heroes in their final state, for it is here that people can look upon them and learn what they learned only too late.
Works Cited Shakespeare, William.Comparative Analysis of the Tragedy in Sophocles’ Oedipus the King and Shakespeare’s Othello. Related Posts: The Tragedy of Othello; Aristotle Distinguishes; Both tragedies, Othello and Oedipus the King, have the same reverse of fate – from good to bad (Hall 34).
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Comparative Response: Othello and King Oedipus. Compare the two characters from the two plays. King Oedipus and Othello are two characters in two different plays from the same names. ‘King Oedipus’ was written around c.
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Oedipus and Othello Comparison *INTRO*The character Oedipus in the play Oedipus the King by Sophocles, and the character Othello in the play Othello the Moor of Venice by Shakespeare are both tragic characters. King Oedipus and Othello are two characters in two different plays from the same names.
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