Oedipus vs. Hamlet: A Character Comparison
After reading Sophocles' Oedipus the King and Shakespeare's Hamlet, it is quiet clear that Oedipus is by far the more admirable character of the two. Aside from Oedipus' history and life experience, his superior character traits are also displayed in the way he handles several incidents throughout the play.
One of the primary reasons Oedipus' is more admirable than Hamlet is just their history. Oedipus is a king. He got there by saving the city of Thebes from a horrible Sphinx by solving a riddle. In this way, Oedipus earned the trust of his people and earned the position of king. On the other …show more content…
father he has killed and the promoter who has murdered his own father. This is not intelligent behavior!
Another area where their characteristics shine through is the way in which they each decide to deal with their particular crisis. Oedipus decides to blind himself by gouging his eyes out. "He rips off her brooches, the long gold pins holding her robes and lifting them high, looking straight up into the points, he digs them down the sockets of his eyes, crying, "You, you'll see no more the pain I suffered, all the pain I caused." (1403-1407) this type of action is brutal and directed right at himself. He doesn't fear what he is doing.
Hamlet, being the passive coward he is contemplates suicide, but doesn't carry it out for fear of what he will face in the afterlife. "But that the dread of something after death, The undiscover'd country from whose bourn No traveler returns, puzzles the will And makes us rather bear those ills we have than fly to others that we know not of? Thus conscience does make cowards of us all;" (78-83) Here, he thinks only of himself. He saying, "I can't kill myself, I don't know what will