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Analysis of Oedipus by Sophocles and Othello by William Shakespeare

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Othello is repentant when he comes to know the whole truth and commits suicide out of the guilt of killing his innocent wife. Othello is deceived by Iago and Oedipus is doomed by his own destiny. But the difference between their plights is that Oedipus had no control upon his fate but Othello could have changed his fate if he was not so gullible. Oedipus was destined by a superior power to kill his father and marry his mother, while Othello was responsible for his ruin. Oedipus did not kill his father or marry his mother intentionally, but those crimes happened because of some external superior forces, which was not under his control.

He kills Laius as he is ignorant of the fact that Lauis is his biological father. Even when he becomes King of Thebes, he strives to find the killer of Lauis unaware of truth that he has taken the life of Lauis. So, Oedipus was not responsible for his crimes he was fated to do so. His life was predestined so he was at no fault at killing his own father.

Even he married his own mother as he was ignorant of his parentage. He solves the Sphinx riddle upon which he is crowned as the King of Thebes. As the King of Thebes, he marries Queen Jocasta, his own mother according to the prophecy. When Oedipus is aware of the actions of his past, he inevitably falls into a state of depression and shock. He undergoes anagnorisis when he is told that it was he who killed the former King Lauis and that he is, in fact, now married to his own mother.

He is unable to handle the terrible fate that has befallen him due to the acts of god, which pushed him to end his life. He laments, "I, Oedipus, damned in his birth, in his marriage damned, Damned in the blood he shed with his own hand" (Sophocles, 2002, p. Oedipus was not aware of the fact that he had killed the king and was forced to do so under circumstances or fate or god. The realization of the truth only puts him in deeper misery, putting him through  ultimate pain and grief, thereby hastening his downfall.

Although he did not harm his biological parents intentionally but mainly to save his kingdom, god or fate played its part. “ Salvation becomes annihilation; the tragic does not take place in the hero's downfall, but rather in the fact that man meets his demise along the very path he took up to escape his demise. ”

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