Oedipus The King Vs. King Lear

Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade September 2001

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Oedipus The King vs. King Lear I am going to discuss the nature of evil in the plays King Lear and Oedipus the King. I will be covering which characters strike me as particularly evil and why and also what I believe the purpose of evil is in these plays.

The nature of evil that exists in Oedipus the King is a lot less than the evil that exists in King Lear. I think that the level of evil does not even compare between the two stories. In Oedipus the King the evil that exists is that he kills his father unknowingly, he marries his mother unknowingly and he has a slight anger problem. The fact that the evil is almost unbeknownst to Oedipus as it is happening makes it seem a lot less then the evil in King Lear.

The evil that exists in King Lear is much more.

It is purposeful plotting and killing, purposeful banishment to get ahead, lying, and cheating. Almost every person in this play in some way has a lot of evil inside him or her and they are not able to control it and it must come out. The way that the people in this play are so organized in their plotting it's like they all have a thirst for blood. It is almost taken to an extreme in this play.

In comparing the two plays and their evils, I think that Oedipus is like a children's storybook compared to King Lear. Like I stated earlier, in Oedipus he does kill a few persons, but it doesn't seem like a big deal since he didn't know it was the king of Thebes or his father. Like the famous saying, what you don't know, can't hurt you. Oedipus was sure he knew nothing...



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