Hazel vs Oedipus

Topics: Oedipus, Hero, Sophocles Pages: 3 (1200 words) Published: June 24, 2013
Tragedies often feature happiness developing into miseries through errors which ultimately reveal the cold hard truth. The hero suffers from human frailty (hamartia) which directs to his/her downfall. The hero suffers from catastrophic events, experiences peripeteia and is confronted with the magnitude of his/her actions. Two such heroes are Hazel Grace Lancaster from “The Faults in Our Stars” by John Green, and Oedipus in the play “Oedipus Rex” written by Sophocles. Both modern and classic articles of literature have a wide-reaching influence on people and inspire many through the centuries. Modern tragic hero Hazel is a teenage thyroid cancer patient who experiences twisting series of bitter losses. As an only child who has been diagnosed since the age of thirteen, she fears and worries what will happen to the loved ones after she dies and wants to minimize the pain her death will cause others. Classic hero Oedipus is destined to fulfill a prophecy that says he will kill his father and marry his mother, and thereby brings disaster on his city and family. He is blinded by the truth and hubris, powerlessly enduring the course of fate despite harsh and fearful confrontations. While both characters fulfill the role of a tragic figure, the modern hero Hazel evidently provides more hope for the audience than the classic hero Oedipus. This is shown when their character traits of determination, courage and ignorance are compared. Determination is a quality a hero cannot be considered one without, and both Hazel and Oedipus show this quality along their ways. Hazel shows determination as she combats cancer despite harsh reality. Augustus asks, "With the trope of the stoic and determined cancer victim who heroically fights her cancer with inhuman strength and never complains or stops smiling even at the very end, etcetera?" (Green 128). Gus and Hazel refuse to be tropes. Instead they create a new kind of cancer rhetoric, one that looks straight on at the...
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