More Tragic Oedipus Or Antigone Essay Research

More Tragic; Oedipus Or Antigone? Essay, Research Paper

Sophocles was a master of tragedy, there?s no argument there. But

which of the 2 plays we?ve studied, Oedipus the King and Antigone, is the

more tragic? I believe that Oedipus the King was more intensely tragic and I

think that if I were to see a the plays ?back to back,? Oedipus would be the

more likely one to rivet true emotions from me.

I think Oedipus? cathartic value can be seen clearly when you compare

the entirety of the results in both plays. In Antigone, she loses 2 brothers,

and then a lover, and finally her life. Oedipus loses his self-confidence, his

true father, his true mother, his ?adoptive? father, his wife, his integrity, his

people, and his sight. When you weigh the two, Oedipus is obviously the

more tragic, in this one area at least.

Certainly one must see that Oedipus goes through a more cathartic

tragedy than Antigone when one looks at the circumstances under which the

tragedy falls as well. Antigone knew full well that what she was doing was

wrong. She knew that if she buried her brother bad things would happen and

she was ready and willing to die. Oedipus on the other hand actually thought

he was doing the city some good by searching out the killer of Laius. He

thought everything was going to turn out just fine in the end, which makes

his downfall that much worse.

A point that also must be considered is hybris. Many people don?t feel

like they can relate to Oedipus because of his hybris, whereas Antigone is a

very palpable sort of character, very down to earth and a ?people?s hero? so

to speak. She is strong, and willing to die for her cause.

The presentation of imagery in the plays also creates an argument in

favor of Oedipus being the more tragic of the 2 plays. There is more

dramatic irony in the way Oedipus is written, therefore making it more


Both of the plays tell a great tragic story about the human spirit and

perseverance for a cause, but I feel that Oedipus is more tragic and

emotionally purgative.


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