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Contrasting Oedipus and Othello: Reality and Falsity

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  • Essay length: 1640 words
  • Submitted: 19/06/2006
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University Degree Othello

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Hayley MacPhee H. MacPhee 1

Professor Pal

ENG 1121

10 April 2002

Contrasting Oedipus and Othello:

Reality and Falsity

In the plays "Oedipus the King" by Sophocles and Shakespeare's "Othello," there are many instances where both of the protagonists are blinded and misled. Oedipus and Othello have difficulty distinguishing between reality and falsity. Othello (incidentally more stubborn than Oedipus) does not "see the light" until he has murdered, conspired the death of a friend and committed suicide. Oedipus invents his own punishment without harm to others when he realizes exactly who he is and what he has done.

Oedipus has "killed his father; sewed the womb of her who bore him" (exodus. 263). He has murdered his father, not aware that it was indeed his own father because he was adopted as an infant. When he returns to Thebes, he marries a woman "old enough to be his mother" and indeed, she is his mother. He has four children by her, two boys and two girls.

H. MacPhee 2

Oedipus, the king of Thebes is an arrogant ruler who acts

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