To What Extent Do You Think That the Main Characters in Greek Tragedy Deserve What Happens to Them? Refer to All Four Plays

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To what extent do you think that the main characters in Greek tragedy deserve what happens to them? Refer to all four plays Both Sophocles and Euripides base their tragedies around the downfall of an individual at the hands of a divine actor and their own hamartia. In Hippolytus, Aphrodite resents Hippolytus for his chastity & ignorance towards her as a god & as a result uses her divine powers to devise a complex plot for his death. Sophocles’ play again follows the demise of the main characters, due to their insolence to divine authority, with both Antigone & Creon’s hubris causing their downfalls. However Medea is the anomaly out of the four plays, as it is less driven by the will and power of the gods but rather by human emotion & actions. Sophocles’ introduces Oedipus as a proud and respected King, as during the plague that has befallen his city he prioritises his efforts to helping his citizens in any way possible. “I am ready to help, I’ll do anything. I would be blind to misery”. His swift action is also seen as an admirable trait as he sends Creon off to the Delphic oracle to find out the cause of the plague immediately. As a result the audience are automatically inclined to grow a liking towards Oedipus, as he shows the quality of a pious/dutiful man. However Oedipus’ strengths, unwillingly becomes his weaknesses when his hamartia becomes evident; his lack of information about his identity. Oedipus’ intelligence and assertiveness holds no match against the paramount nature of fate. His insults of Tiresias’ and his blindness, accusation of both Creon and Tiresias plotting against him, and the vicious handling of the old shepherd to extort information from him show his complete frustration in his determination to find the truth. However Oedipus’ impious actions are not contributory to demise, as his fate is established well before the

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