Friday, December 20, 2019

Essay about A Tragic Showdown Macbeth vs Oedipus - 549 Words

When we think of the tragedy, we think of something bad happening to someone. This cannot be a tragedy. To know what tragedy is we have to take a look at what Arthur Miller thinks of as tragic. In his essay Tragedy and the Common Man, Arthur Miller says, â€Å"As a general rule, to which there may be exceptions unknown to me, I think the tragic feeling is evoked in us when we are in the presence of a character who is ready to lay down his life, if need be, to secure one thing – his sense of personal dignity: From Orestes to Hamlet, Medea to Macbeth, the underlying struggle in that of the individual attempting to gain his â€Å"rightful† position in his society.† I agree and disagree with Miller’s first statement. Just take a look at Oedipus†¦show more content†¦The questions I asked â€Å"Does Oedipus’s dignity really lie in just finding and punishing Laius’s killer and Has Macbeth secured his sense of personal dignity† a re important because these questions go beyond the plain understanding of what a tragic hero is. We define Oedipus and Macbeth as tragic heroes because the former killed his father and married his mother and the latter kills so many to secure his throne. Oedipus becomes a tragic hero because of the way he gains his personal dignity. As I stated before Oedipus fulfills his promise of punishing King Laius’s killer by punishing himself when he gouges out his eyes and then goes into exile. Macbeth does not do anything for his personal dignity. On the contrary, he destroys it through the countless killings to become king and secure his throne. The only idea that I have to grapple with is how Macbeth could be included in the group of characters who are ready to sacrifice their life to secure their sense of personal dignity. I say this because when the former dies, he dies as a result of all the people he betrayed and killed for the throne of Scotland. Macbeth’s counterpart Oedipus does die, though not physically. When we die there is a darkness around us. So in a way, Oedipus does kill himself by taking away his own eyesight. Arthur Miller gives a clear understanding of what a tragic hero is. A tragic hero is someone like

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