What is the difference between the Greek tragic hero and the Elizabethan tragic hero?

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While both the Greek and the Elizabethan tragic hero have tragic flaws and make errors in judgment that enable or lead to their downfalls, the Elizabethan tragic hero is generally to blame for his ruin, whereas the Greek tragic hero is often a victim of fate. Oedipus, in Oedipus Rex ...

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While both the Greek and the Elizabethan tragic hero have tragic flaws and make errors in judgment that enable or lead to their downfalls, the Elizabethan tragic hero is generally to blame for his ruin, whereas the Greek tragic hero is often a victim of fate. Oedipus, in Oedipus Rex, for example, is a tragic hero who suffers from the tragic flaw of pride. However, his fate was decided even before he was born; the oracle at Delphi, Apollo's mouthpiece, told Oedipus's father that he would have a son that would kill him and marry his wife. Oedipus's pride, which leads him to believe that he can avoid the prophecy, is what actually enables it to come true, but our sense that one cannot defy the gods' will is a significant part of his story. Shakespeare's Macbeth, on the other hand, seems much more responsible for his own demise; it is the result of his choices, not the result of fate. He chooses to murder the king in order to usurp the king's role—he was not fated to do so—and this action leads to his ruin. By the Elizabethan era, people preferred to believe that they had control over their lives rather than believe that something arbitrary—like fate—was directing their actions.

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