Compare And Contrast Okonkwo And Oedipus

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In Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe, and Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, both protagonists possess tragic flaws which lead to their demise. Distanced by years in literature, Okonkwo and Oedipus are remarkably similar, however display aspects of their personalities that make their epic journeys of fate quite different. Both characters are arrogant and refuse to be told they are incorrect about anything. They are considered admirable at first, especially in the eyes of the other characters, however by the end of both stories, they are considered outcasts. Both men possess an egotistic attitude and have an overwhelming sense of pride in their achievements. As highly regarded and elevated members of their community, their rise to power is short lived as they lose their legacy as respected men in their lands. They are united by kingship, and are driven to their tragic end by forces within and outside of their control. Okonkwo is responsible for the disasters that come to him and his tribe, while divine forces conspired against Oedipus, who must accept the brutal truth of his life and his role within it. Okonkwo and Oedipus are doomed heroes, as facets of their character, such as their social status, imperfections, and self-righteousness, play a huge role in how much these men can determine their own disastrous fate. A tragic hero, by short definition, is someone who falls because of a tragic flaw and not because they are evil or a bad person. Aristotle in his book, Poetics,

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