Oedipus the King and Hamlet: A Descent to the Fathers

Chiara Lombardi

Abstract


My contribution aims to highlight some relationships between Sophocles and Shakespeare starting from the main hypothesis regarding the circulation of the ancient Greek tragedy in the sixteenth-century Europe, and looking at the Freudian thesis. The analysis does not concerns single mythological figures, but involves the relationships between different symbols and characters: Oedipus, for example, may be seen not only behind the rich palimpsest of Hamlet, as has been widely shown, but also throughout King Lear’s complex plot and symbology. At the same time, Electra and Antigone could be considered as important patterns for understanding the notion of conflict in Hamlet. Accordingly, I would like to show that Shakespeare turns to Greek tragic models (and especially to Sophocles), in a sort of descent to fathers, in order to investigate and represent power in its abysmal – both familiar and individual – relationships.


Keywords


Shakespeare; Sophocles; Hamlet; Oedipus rex; Freud

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.13125/2039-6597/2812

NBN: http://nbn.depositolegale.it/urn%3Anbn%3Ait%3Aunica-21508

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