A Comparative Tragedy Study of Fatalism and Determinism: Oedipus Rex and Thunderstorm

2474 words 10 pages
A Comparative Tragedy Study of Fatalism and Determinism:
Oedipus Rex and The Thunderstorm
The Thunderstorm and Oedipus Rex, the representatives of Chinese and Greek play, both tell tragic stories about incest and unexpected destiny. The two masterpieces reveal much about the literature patterns and philosophical implications of the different cultures. The exploration of the two plays could help further understand the oneness of world literature and the tragedy of unlike culture.
This paper will compare two famous tragic dramas—Oedipus Rex and The Thunderstorm to analyze the similarities and differences in terms of the tragic themes—fatalism and determinism. The process of textual analysis will be associated with the
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However, the two holds different proportion of two elements—Oedipus Rex putting more emphasis on fate, while The Thunderstorm underlining the importance of human factors.
3.1 Analysis on Oedipus Rex
3.1.1 The Voice of Fate
Oedipus Rex has been almost universally regarded as the classic example of the “tragedy of fate.” Sir Maurice Bowra’s idea that the gods force on Oedipus the knowledge of what he has done strongly supports the idea of fatalism (390).Through his priests at Delphi, Apollo told Laius that he would be killed by his own son, and later told Oedipus that he would kill his father and marry his mother. At the beginning of the play Apollo tells Creon that Thebes will be saved from the plague only when the murderer of Laius is found and expelled. Although everyone in this play try to do something to avoid the realization of the oracle, in the end, everything comes true. Its power was based on a widespread, indeed in early time’s universal belief in the efficacy of divine prophecy. Sophocles himself also believes in this point:
Unless these prophecies all come true for all mankind to point toward in wonder…
They are dying, the old oracles sent to Laius,
Now our masters strike them off the rolls.
Nowhere Apollo’s golden glory now—
The gods, the gods go down. (Sophocles 989-97)
When chose as the subject of his story about a man who tried to avoid the fulfillment of a prophecy of Apollo,