Similarities And Differences Between Young Goodman Brown And Oedipus The King

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“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” – George Santayana. While neither of these plays is necessarily a commentary of the repetitive tribulations of man, this quote by George Santayana does speak on the commonality of all history and human endeavor. After two thousand two hundred and sixty-four years, two completely different pieces of literature can have the same connection to the human experiences, a complete confirmation of circularity of society. Furthermore, these two stories don’t only have the same connection to humanity, but they have a connection with each other in their commonality of protagonists. “Young Goodman Brown” and Oedipus the King both have characters that have to grapple with loss of ignorance, and to cope with a society that was not what they once knew. Knowing a fact is true is the first step to reality, but understanding why is how you truly envelope yourself. “Young Goodman Brown” and Oedipus the King, both bring up the idea of what is known as “The grand illusion”. The idea that nothing is, or has ever been, what we believe it is. The unfolding the illusion bears strong similarity between both stories, in the adapted words of Peter Baelish, it is a ladder of chaos. First, both stories start with a methodical understanding of the problem, in “Young Goodman Brown” an assuredness of the journey and in Oedipus an eagerness to solve a problem. However, as the story unfolds the madness reveals itself as well. Teiresias has a

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