• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Oedipus the King VS. "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" by Ambrose Bierce is a 19th Century mystery story

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Natasha Naidu English 2 Ms. Lori Fox May 19th 2005 Research Paper Oedipus the King VS. "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge" by Ambrose Bierce is a 19th Century mystery story that is set at the time of the American Civil War (1861-1865), when the Slave owning Confederate States in the South engaged in conflict with the Federal Government of the USA. The story focuses on a character called Peyton Farquhar, who was about to be hung for trespassing the Owl Creek Bridge. The story ends with a curious twist in the plot. The main aspect of the story is set in Farquhar's mind, however while reading, at the first instinct, the reader is unsure (despite careful, hidden hints placed by Bierce) of this fact. Only at the end, when it is clearly stated that Farquhar is hanging lifelessly with a broken neck from the bridge that the reader will become conclusively aware of this facet. In Oedipus the King by Sophocles', it is a 5th century Greek tragedy play that is set at the time of major battle against the Persian navy also known as Golden Age. (Sophocles, 1880) ...read more.

Middle

"Peyton Farquhar was dead; his body with a broken neck, swung gently from side to side beneath the timbers of the Owl Creek bridge" (Bierce). Cathy Davidson states, "Death is a cessation of the impression through the senses, and the pulling of the strings which move the appetites..." (Davidson 146). To what extent is Oedipus responsible for his own fate? In looking at the play Oedipus the King, I found several possibilities surrounding his fate. Firstly, one of the assumptions that can be drawn is that perhaps as destiny controls all fates, then Oedipus' character was created long before he was conceived. On the other hand, we could also say that perhaps Oedipus' horrific fate came about because of his character. The third possibility is that everything is inevitable - therefore no one ever has had any say in their own fate, let alone Oedipus. The first explanation to this question is the idea that destiny makes character. As destiny, supposedly in the Greek mindset, maps out all events before they occur, we can today assume with this logic that perhaps the components that "built" Oedipus' character were caused by fate. We know today that character is determined by biological factors and experience. ...read more.

Conclusion

I believe Oedipus was a great tragic hero because he saved the towns life even though he ruined his own. His fate was tested through out the play and he chooses to deny it. Bierce has a unique style to pull the reader into the story. To name a few techniques, his complex illusions keep the audience in suspense, his detailed descriptions allow the reader to picture all aspects of the story and the dividing of the story into three separate parts help them to stay focused. In "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge", Farquhar's fantasy overtakes his reality leaving him with only one option on returning to reality death. Numerous critics argue the relevancy of the plot of "An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge". The fantasy and reality connection between Farquhar's imagination and the hanging make the story. Bierce creates suspense and confusion through mind deception. Time manipulation, the fantasy realm, and the overlapping of dreams and reality equally deceive the reader and the protagonist. Yet to those of who accept fate, perhaps this could be the explanation. It is a completely personal decision, based on an individual interpretation. King Oedipus and Farquhar make their own decisions in their own way and lives with the consequences those brought. There is no one correct answer for interpretation in the 21st Century, in depends completely on individuals perception of the actuality of fate. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our AS and A Level Classics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related AS and A Level Classics essays

  1. How far do you agree that Sophocles "Oedipus the King" is nothing more than ...

    They show Oedipus to be isolated; they are a group of people, stood in front of one lonely man who is scared and afraid. They are afraid Oedipus shall also pollute them if they touch him, they wish not too out of fear of the terrible things he has done.

  2. Identifying an Unknown Carbonyl Compound

    The first reading gave a rough melting point but was a guide for the second determination. 9. The burner and the old tube containing derivative was removed. The temperature was allowed to drop about 10 before positioning a fresh melting-point containing another portion of the derivative.

  1. "In the play, 'Oedipus the King' Sophocles argues that it is fate not the ...

    of children into the light no man can bare to see and kill his father. Like any other Greek, Oedipus was not one to question the gods. The Greeks believed profoundly in the gods and of their existence. The words of the gods nor the legitimacy of their existence were

  2. In your opinion, where did the real power lie within the Spartan Constitution?

    once had, it's only reasonable to assume that such a role would fall to others. The Gerousia, comprising of the 28 'elders' - all of whom were over sixty and retired from military service - and the two Kings, was the Supreme Court of Sparta; they had the 'final say'

  1. One of the best examples for Aristotles tragic hero is Oedipus from Sophocles tragedy, ...

    We pity Oedipus because his downfall seems to be so much greater than what he deserves. In essence, the element of "fear" is produced out of the recognition that the hero is imperfect, like us, while the element of "pity" is a balance between good and evil.

  2. Jason behaves so badly that it is impossible for us to sympathise with his ...

    seeing as the gifts for Glauce were by her 'father's father the Sun bequeved to his descendants', meaning that they were only meant to be passed onto Meda's children and her descendants. The fact that Jason did not see anything wrong with this does show his ignorance, therefore decreases our

  1. Descartess Overall Argument for Mind-Body Distinctness in the Meditations

    own existence, he still grapples with the fact that at this point even he doesn't have a sufficient understanding of what the term "I," (which he just proved necessarily exists) really means. Descartes first attempts to extract from the vagaries of self realization, which inherently arise when attempting to define

  2. How significant in Alexanders campaign to become king of Asia was the battle of ...

    Both Alexander?s leadership and tactical genius were essential in aiding him to become king of Asia and his display of these qualities at Granicus and then later at Issus will have served to bolster the faith his own troops had in him, whilst instilling fear in his enemies.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work