Oedipus and Hamlet

Probe the character of both Oedipus and Hamlet in the context of the pressures both dramatic figures face as they undertake their individual missions to address the ills that confront them

In your opening paragraph, define the challenge faced by both men. Note how the role of fate
plays in Oedipus?s quest for the murderer?s identity and how the appearance of the Ghost
provokes Hamlet to ascertain truth and seek revenge.

End the paragraph with a thesis statement in which you predict the points about each tragic figure that you will explore in the analysis.

Oedipus and Hamlet

 In the following paragraphs, explore the character of Oedipus in his initial speech to the elders
of his city state.

Examine how these character traits continue to be revealed in his interaction
with others: Teiresias, Creon, Iocaste, and the Messenger. Determine how the character of
Oedipus alters once he discovers his own identity by analyzing his speech to the Choragos (1316-
1362), Creon (1393-1406), and his daughters (1424-1444). Then assess the change you have
observed in the tyrant?s character as he finally accepts his fate.

 In the second division of your analysis, delve into the character of Hamlet, first by exploring
his initial soliloquy in Act 1.2 (129-159) as he views the circumstances of his discovery of the
state upon his return to Denmark.

Continue your inquiry into Hamlet?s view of himself at the end
of Act 1.5 (181-188) and of the ?rotten? state of Denmark in Act 2.2 (286-301). Investigate his
conflict in Act 3.1 (56-89). Review his growth as you analyze the soliloquy in Act 4.4 (32-66).

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Determine his change in posture as he addresses Laertes in Act 5.2 (211-229) and Horatio in Act
5.2 (342-348). Assess the change you have observed in Hamlet?s final gestures of honor and
resignation.

 Draw conclusions about these two tragic figures as you finalize your analysis by
comparing/contrasting Oedipus and Hamlet as tragic heroes.
o Consider what traits they exhibit initially and how they grow in perspective at the end of
each drama.
o Explore how the audience responds to the growth in both protagonists.