It is often said that an anti-climax work is more admired than its counterparts. For reasons, the struggle of humans, the ultimate failure of a hero, and the corruption of mortal spirit have always hold its ground against classic comedy. From the ages of Oedipus Rex, a tragedy carries the irony of an egoistic giant trapped in predestined downfall. Oedipus was almost certain that he had escaped the arranged destiny. This confidence led him to pursue the murderer of Thebes until, at the end, he made the horrible discovery that his wife was his mother, and that his daughters were instead, his sisters.
1. Aristotle once stated, “a man doesn’t become a hero until he can see the root of his own downfall (bisd303.org).” Oedipus epitomizes a true tragic hero in both his past and his actions, although he did not have any control regarding his fate. He had excessive pride and self-righteousness; he dares to compare himself to the gods in saying “you pray to the gods? Let me grant your prayers (33).” He is quick-tempered and spontaneous, which leads him to jump to conclusions, causing the reader to become aware of the fact that Oedipus is mortal and imperfect, henceforth with flaws. Oedipus’ error in judgment and tragic fall lead him to his downfall.
In Shakespeare’s, “Romeo and Juliet” Friar Laurence is to blame for Romeo and Juliet’s deaths because he is devious and has a poor planning ability. Friar Laurence is to blame because of his devious and secretive nature. First, Friar Laurence agrees to perform a forbidden marriage without Romeo and Juliet’s family’s approval. Friar Laurence states, “In one respect, I’ll thy assistant to be; For this alliance may so happy prove to turn your household’s rancor to pure love” (Shakespeare 1031). This quote displays Friar Laurence’s devious nature because he had agreed to marry Romeo and Juliet, thinking that it would solve the rivalry between the two families even though it was against who he was, his morals, and his religion.
Introduction Inequality and adherence to outdated cultural traditions are two of the main sources behind the tragedies that were seen in the case of Oedipus Rex and Antigone. For instance, in the case of Oedipus Rex, the origin behind the tragedy can be traced to the belief of King Laius in the words of an oracle. The mere fact that he was willing to believe in something that "might" come true on the basis that an oracle stated it shows that the problem is a mistaken belief in a cultural tradition that is far from what can be stated as being logical. The same can be seen in the case of Antigone wherein the female protagonist (i.e. Antigone) places religious belief over the laws established by the state.
Let’s start at once” (Huxley 141). Huxley manipulates this significant encounter to establish John’s peculiar nature and foreshadow his incompatibility with society, as seen by his incoherence to Bernard. John’s Shakespearean values shine later in the novel when Lenina desires him, but John resists, dutifully quoting, ‘If thou dost break her virgin knot before all sanctimonious ceremonies may with full and holy rite…” (Huxley 195). In Huxley’s dystopia, Shakespeare’s concepts of marriage, commitment, and restraint are obsolete, so Lenina is left frustrated and confused: “For Ford’s sake, John,” she demands, “talk sense. I can’t understand a word you say” (Huxley 195).
When Telemachus is tasked with interacting with the suitors in Zimerman’s play his awkward and naivete is highlighted as the suitors demean him. Even when Telemachus is in the presence of a God (Athena) according to stage direction, “the Suitors make a disturbance”, repeatedly. Then when Telemachus is talking to Athena he lives up to Homer’s epithet of “thoughtful” as he is the only character to hesitate in his dialog written by Zimmerman as well as having the humility to state “I don’t know”. Seeing an actor interpret Zimmerman’s dialog could possibly be superior to Homer, but as a reader, the emotion and artistic liberties are
In tragedy, Aristotle states that the protagonist’s fortune must be good at the beginning but then collapse into bad fortune (Aristotle 22). An example of this is in Oedipus Tyrannus in which Oedipus goes from the king of Thebes into gouging out his own eyes for his crimes against nation and god (Line 1297). Conversely, the opposite is true for comedies; however Clouds doesn’t follow this rule, but instead Strepsiades remains in debt and goes on to lose control of his son and ends up attempting to burn down the Thinkery (Lines 1901-1906). By violating this tradition, Clouds is the inferior play as it completely disregards the concept of Aristotelian fortune. Oedipus’s fall from fortune is superior because it follows the correct method of the fall from grace.
According to Johnson, Shakespeare’s plays lack poetic justice because he sacrifices virtue to convenience and the major figures suffer more than they deserve, because of their faults. As a critic he shows remarkable regard for realistic portrayal of life in Shakespeare’s plays. Now in this argument for poetic justice when he demands that virtue must be rewarded and vice must be punished because he considers it always a writer’s duty to make the world a better place to live. He also believes that the significance of virtue is irrelevant of time. Now in real life we do not see that virtue is essentially or naturally rewarded or vice is always punished.
Irony and Fate in Oedipus The King In the play Oedipus The King, Sophocles uses irony to depict how helpless Oedipus is at the hands of the gods who control his fate, and also to depict Oedipus as a tragic hero. By taking advantage of the myth of Oedipus and the fact that the audience knows about the story, Sophocles is able to effectively create tension and show the dilemma between fate and freewill – fate being predetermined and unalterable. Sophocles uses irony to heighten suspense which serve to emphasize the twists of fate and divine power that hound the protagonist. By setting the main character up on a pedestal, Sophocles is able to emphasize Oedipus’ downfall brought about by a combination of his hubris, quest to find the truth and his tragic fate, evoking emotions namely hope, fear, pity and catharsis. Sophocles uses irony to initially portray Oedipus as an infallible leader to evoke hope from the audience – an image he will later reverse to effectively depict the overarching themes of the play – the inevitability of fate and the cyclical nature of success, power and glory.
The inevitability in tragedy is often due as much to the hero’s stubbornness as to fate. The stubbornness of tragic heroes shows in their concern with vengeance and their unwillingness to forgive. As Aristotle said, in comedy enemies often become friends, but in tragedy they never do. If a person with a locked will or an obsession appears in a comedy, by contrast, it’s not as a hero to be admired, but as the butt of joking. Characters with idées fixes, as Bergson called them, the miser, the pedant, and the hypochondriac.