Regarding the pieces of Shakespeare and Sophocles, which were written in different time periods and countries, one can conclude that cultural and religious views as well as attitude towards laws was not the same. However, the depiction of destiny and human’s inability to influence the development of the events unifies people from Antique Greece and Renaissance England.
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The events described by Sophocles in Antigone, Oedipus the King and Oedipus at Colonus are “in medias res” throughout the plays. Therefore, to trace better how the author presented his characters Oedipus, Antigone and Creon, it is better to consider all three of the tragedies. One of the main aims of the plays was to emphasize the role of strong religious beliefs of the Ancient Greeks and fate. Sophocles refers to the figure of oracle at Delphi to emphasize the vanity of a person’s struggle against destiny. Even gods, who are the strongest creatures, cannot oppose fate and save Oedipus from his sorrowful destiny. The fact that he can generally be viewed as a just and religious person of high morality is of no importance. The scene, when Oedipus talks to the oracle and understands that the prediction came true, becomes an anagnorisis of the tragedy. “Fate swooped down on him”, – tells Sophocles to emphasize the inability of Oedipus to influence anything (Sophocles 213). Although Oedipus’ daughter Antigone is also highly moral and responsible regardless all peripeteia described in Antigone, she was destined to commit a suicide for she could not betray her brother and buried him “despite the interdict” (Sophocles 109). In such way, Sophocles not only highlighted the importance of religion and fate for the Ancient Greeks, but also used the figure of Antigone as a foil to Creon, who demonstrated his obedience to laws and rules regardless anything and becomes a “tool in the destiny’s hands”.
In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, the brave and courageous Scottish general Macbeth gets lust for power and afterwards turns into a cruel tyrant. However, the same as Sophocles, in the beginning of the tragedy, Shakespeare highlights the importance of predictions of the “weird sisters” (Shakespeare 35). Regardless the fact that Macbeth is considered to be a negative hero, he was destined like Oedipus and Antigone. According to the events of Macbeth, the predictions are credible and predetermine people’s fate. Religion was very important in the Renaissance England. However, the religious reformation in England has found its reflection in Macbeth replica “fair is foul and foul is fair”, which is another proof of the doubts of the protagonist (Shakespeare 37).
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To sum it up, the tragedies emphasize that the role of fate in human’s life is inevitable. No matter if the character is weak or strong, evil or kind, his destiny is predetermined from the beginning of life, and all the deeds lead heroes to contribute to predictions verification. Interestingly, such beliefs stayed appropriate for different centuries and cultures.