Comparison Between Hippolytus And Oedipus Rex

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Analysis: Greek tragedies are some of the most compelling and interesting works of literature. The plot usually follows a common patten in which a heroic lead meets an unhappy or catastrophic end. This end is usually brought about by some fatal flaw of character, circumstances beyond his or her control, or by sheer destiny. In hippolytus, a tragedy written by Euripides, the focus is on conflict in human love spirit between stepmother and her son and the desire for revenge. The story of Oedipus Rex, written by Sophocles, is very different and more complex. He uses dramatic irony and close comparison to make the audience think and to try to figure out the meanings behind the words. By closely analyzing the plays of hippolytus and Oedipus Rex one can see that Oedipus Rex is the better of the these two Greek tragedies. The plot is the most important aspect of the tragedy. Aristotle tells us that a plot is a representation of an action and must be presented as a unified whole. The plot of Oedipus Rex has a beginning, middle and an end. One thing always follows something else as a “necessary or as a usual consequence, and is itself not followed by anything.” (Aristotle) According to E.M. Forester, “The plot is a narrative of events, the emphasis falling on causality.” The plot that contains an element of mystery is “capable of high development.” (Forester) In the play hippolytus the reader can see the possible outcome of the tragedy in the very beginning. There is not much higher development in this play. Euripides and his contemporary Sophocles were two great tragedians of classical Athens, who have strikingly different styles which both are great in their own right. Specifically, these differences can be illustrated in Sophocles’ Oedipus Tyrannos and Euripides’ Hippolytus. These are two great tragedies that share a great common thread, but each have strikingly
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