THEMATIC AND TEXTUAL COMPARISON OF THE TRAGEDIES HAMLET BY WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE AND ANTIGONE BY SOPHOCLES
This paper aims at making a comparison of some of the most renowned tragedies in the history of Western literature, Hamlet and Antigone. Both plays summarize the values and ethos at the apex of their countries of origin, the Golden Age of Athens and the Golden Age of England. The Renaissance has brought the achievements of Ancient writers to England during the Golden Age, hence some similarities between the two tragedies. Both plays, Hamlet and Antigone pose the eternal question concerning the nature of human existence and indirectly about human`s place in nature. Both plays are dichotomous, simultaneously emphasising the greatness of human nature, and pointing out the insignificance of humans faced with nature. In Hamlet and Antigone, the protagonists struggle to fulfil what they regard as their duty and dwell on how their actions will affect their afterlife. In addition, both plays deal with the role of Fate and Free Will in the lives of humans and illustrate how this struggle is perceived in 5th century BC Athens/Thebes and 15th/ 16th century England. The paper aims to analyse how
Shakespeare and Sophocles approach and elaborate these everlasting themes.