Comparison of “Oedipus the King”, “Hamlet”, “Waiting for Godot”.

Topics: Tragedy, Ancient Greece, Poetics Pages: 3 (1063 words) Published: October 29, 2007
Some of the first forms of drama come from ancient Greece. “Oedipus the King” by Sophocles is a great example of ancient Greek tragedy, “Hamlet” by Shakespeare is the example of drama of Elizabethan period and Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot “ represents the drama of the 20th century and belongs to so called “Theatre of the Absurd”. Because all these dramas come from different period of time, it's natural that they differ from each other in many aspects.

The Greek tragedy has unity of time, place and action, since it takes place all in one day, happens in a single scene, and develops only one plot. In “Hamlet” that rule is broken. Action takes place in the garden, in the castle, in the cemetery. The play doesn't have the unity of time and has many plots. In “Waiting for Godot,” however, we see close adherence to the three unities. The unity of time is two days and action is set in one place, where Vladimir and Estragon are waiting for Godot. In ancient drama, the character is often of noble birth and hold an important social position. At the same time, he is the tragic hero and any decision he makes lead him to personal catastrophe. An ancient main character is a victim of tragic irony. A hero commits a crime not being aware of that. He suffers some serious misfortune which is not accidental and meaningless, but is significant and logically connected with the his actions. A character in ancient drama is not largely developed psychologically. We do not get a full picture of king Oedipus personality. We've got very little information about his appearance; his action and speech don't tell us anything about his emotions. In contrast, we know a lot about Hamlet's emotions and feelings. Unlike Greek tragedy, a hero in modern drama, is often an ordinary person, not high born. Modern drama such as “Waiting for Godot” shows the tragedy not of the strong and noble, but weak...
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