Oedipus Compare And Contrast

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In the plays written by Aeschylus and Sophocles, it tells of two different tragedies in very distinct ways. In the play written by Aeschylus, it focuses on how vengeance has brought almost everyone in one family to death, and left the last to fend for his actions. It seemed as if in the first story, the love for family was at times a motive but at other times obsolete. While in the play written by Sophocles, it seemed as if acting on behalf of love, led many of characters to their doom. A way to evaluate the differences between each play and acknowledge their significance, would be to analyze one of the main characters in each book by assessing their personalities, motives, and actions. The two main characters that will be analyzed in this…show more content…
Oedipus is a wise man who became the king of Thebes, and was destined to free his city of the plague that had fallen upon them. He cared a lot for his people, through his compassion and pity, and felt one of the most notorious things a man could could do would be to help those in need so long as he has the willpower to do so (Sophocles, Oedipus the King). Oedipus is willing to do whatever it takes to bring an end to the plague, he acts quickly by sending out his brother-in-law and two messengers to find the murderer of Laius to end the plague. Oedipus is seen almost as a redeemer, he is told by the priest, “raise up our city, save it, and set it straight (Sophocles, Oedipus the King, line 52).” Unfortunately, Oedipus’s quest to save his people lead to his doomed fate. His fate was that one day, he would marry his own mother with whom he would have children, and that his very own hands would be the hands that kill his father. Oedipus did not want this to happen, so he fled the Corinth in hopes that he would never be able to harm those who he loved most. Oedipus’s love for his family is what led him to flee Corinth, and his love for the people who he reigned over is what led him to his fate. He was to find the murderer of Laius, and in doing so, he discovered he in fact was the murderer. Oedipus had cursed himself in ignorance, he acknowledges the fact that he is guilty, “no man but I can bear my evil…show more content…
Each character is strongly impacted and acts on the love that they have for others. As well, they both share the common trait of compassion. Oedipus is compassionate towards his people being impacted by the plague, and it is Orestes compassion that makes him contemplate killing his mother. A difference between the two is shown through their flaws, Oedipus is wise, but also at times arrogant, and Orestes is a man who feels abandoned. Within the stories both characters had very different motifs. In the play of Sophocles, Oedipus’s motif was to bring to justice a murderer for the sake of his city. While in Aeschylus’s play, Orestes purpose was to kill his mother in order to avenge his father’s death and escape an unwanted fate. Oedipus’s action to achieve his motif was to act quickly and send out his best men. Orestes actions in order to achieve his motif was to kill his mother and prove that this was an order from a
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