Compare and Contrast Oedipus rex/othello

Length: 3 Pages 711 Words

Compare and Contrast The definition of a tragedy is a narrative poem or tale which describes the downfall of a great man. Both Othello and Oedipus Rex fall under this category of literature, even though they were written by two different authors and in two completely different time periods. These two works share many comparisons to each other, while having a fair amount of differences as well. Othello and Oedipus Rex both featured main characters with prominent power. Othello was a greatly respected general with an impeccable service record within the Venetian Army, while Oedipus was the newly appointed king of Thebes. Each of these characters were well respected and honored members of their community. Both Oedipus and Othello had to overcome obstacles to gain their respected positions. Othello was a black member of society in a time when the caucasian race was viewed as superior to other races. While he was respected as a general, he was still looked down upon as a human being. An example of this would be the opposition of Desdemona’s fath Continue...


Sophocles' Oedipus Rex and Shakespeare's Othello are both considered great examples of tragedy throughout literary history. He chooses to live with his consequences and not take his own life, but rather gouges his own eyes out and chooses to be exiled from Thebes. This happens in both Oedipus Rex and Othello, each having trouble uncovering the truth. To fulfill the definition of a tragedy, the main character has to lead to his or her own downfall. Throughout his investigation, he had trouble seeing the truth that the prophets provided. In both dramas, the main character made accusations against their right-hand man. When he later discovers the truth, he takes the cowardly way out and punished himself by taking his own life. He then begins to believe the prophesies of the oracle. He continues his accusation by charging him with the desire to overthrow Oedipus. He had to solve the riddle of the great Sphinx, and in doing so, he freed the city of Thebes from the wrath of the Sphinx and was made king. er, Brabanzio, in the marriage between Othello and Desdemona. This is similar to the fate of Desdemona. Oedipus had his own conflict to gain his power. At first, Othello did not believe this rumor, but after having ocular proof, Desdemona's handkerchief in Cassio's possession, he was convinced the rumor was in fact true.