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Shame vs Guilt

  • Date Submitted: 04/18/2010 06:55 PM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 61.2 
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Ericka Arellano
Period 1
3/27/10
Shame vs. Guilt
Oedipus Rex, from Sophocle's Oedipus Trilogy represents the shame culture. Achilles, from Homer's The Iliad, represents guilt. Shame is cause by humiliation in public, where everyone is aware of what happened. Guilt, is an internal problem which cannot be usually understood by others. Oedipus caused his own guilt by being ignorant to everyone's warnings, while Achilles was shamed by Agamemnon when he said that he had more value and stronger than someone like Achilles.
Oedipus Rex was a king who strived to track down the criminal that killed King Laius. Every step Oedipus takes brings him closer to the reason why he belongs to the shame culture. Oedipus was a curios king who would not stop at nothing. Even when he was warned by the Oracle of Tiresias, Oedipus was naive to the possibility that he would only suffer from searching for the criminal who killed King Laius. Oedipus even questioned Tiresias' power when Tiresias told him he was the criminal.
When Oedipus found out he was the man who killed King Laius and married his mother, he was overtaken by pure guilt. Oedipus Rex committed incest with his mother, and he even had children with her. Every time he would {text:soft-page-break} to look at his children, it would be like seeing his brothers. Guilt is a personal feeling that comes when a person knows what they have done is wrong. The difference between guilt in shame however, is that you have control over guilt, where as with shame, someone is controlling the problem.
Achilles was a character in Homer's The Iliad, who spent his time trying to restore his honor and public appearance because of Agamemnon, who insulted him in front of public. Achilles cared a lot about what others thought of him. He spent most of the Iliad getting revenge on people and having tantrums. Shame causes the feeling of humiliation, and degradation. Achilles felt he should be superior to mortals and so he took out his anger...

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