Back to Fan Articles

Nehrim- a Classical Tragedy?

Nehrim- setting the context

As stated in my previous essay concerning the topic of philosophical issues in Nehrim, the game definitely revolves around the ideas which formed the core of every classical tragedy- fate, destiny and the gods. I do not know if that was the intention of the Nehrim team script writers (probably it was, as the game is divided into acts), but both the course of events and the protagonist Narathzul Arantheal contribute to the fact that we might perceive Nehrim's main quest as a contemporary example of the Greek tragedy. And I personally adored the ancient notion of fate and how cruelly it could affect human life. Sophocles's Oedipus was a masterpiece in its own kind. Surprisingly, my character, Ophelia, is not the central character of the tragedy!. NO! She's just a spectator of the unfolding tragedy. Thank you SO MUCH SureAI team for a non-conventional RPG. It's not a type of RPG where we have to 'save the world' and everyone calls us ' the hero of Ferelden' , 'the hero of Cyrodill', 'Shephard the Immortal' , etc. My Ophelia is artfully entangled in the events. Gradually, she becomes emotionally involved and finally she is left with no choice at all. There is no one, nothing to fight for (except for your own survival, your inner determination to impose the new order or simply the willingness to explore the world afterwards[ that was my choice!]. Choosing death seems equally reasonable as defying the Fate.

Narathzul Arantheal – a tragic hero?

For years, he thought his eyes had been wide open, but still, he couldn't see.
When he finally opened his eyes, Fate claimed his soul.

Is he like Oedipus- finally understands and sees his tragic lot when he becomes blind? Similarly,all his life has been based on a lie, which he foolishly believed to be true. But when he does realize his predicament it is too late. Every choice triggers the final catastrophe. Having devoted all his life to a noble deed of fighting for mankind's freedom and becoming independent of the god's supremacy. Why shouldn't we stand by him? The gods of Nehrim are sometimes cruel- humiliating mankind and exposing their inferiority. Narathzul has all the core traits of a tragic hero enlisted by Aristotle:hamartia, hybris, anagnorisis. Hybris, his exaggerated self pride, his belief that he is the one who, according to the Book of Predestination, will become the Shadow God, the one who conquered all of the gods and established a new order. Hamartia, a mistake in judging one's real situation. All his extremely long life Narathzul didn't realize that he couldn't become the Shadow God. That he coudn't provide people with the freedom he so forcefully fought for. Only when he had killed most of the gods did he realize the horror of his situation. That's anagnorisis. A moment when the protagonist makes a critical discovery. When Narathzul prepares to strike the last goddess, she reveals her secret:He is his son. He can't become the Shadow God. It would mean killing you, Narathzul, the god of Nehrim, as well. All his life, ambitions, moral values fell to pieces. Dreams cruelly shattered. As Aristotle stated in Poetics , a good tragedy should have a complex structure with incidents arousing the feelings of fear and pity. Nehrim does. I did feel for Narathzul, despite his hot-blooded misdeameanours ( He is not a flawless, ideal character after all. Well, nobody is). And it was quite fearful when it dawned on me that he was just a mere plaything of the gods. And Fate's raucous laughter at Narathzul's death from Arkt, the Shadow God. The one he, Narathzul, would and could never have become. But that's not all, of course. In classical tragedies, the more blood the better! So, Fate claimed Narathzul. But we also have Jocaste here- his mother. Contrary to Jocaste and Oedypus, Narathzul does not seem to be sexually interested in her ( but I have to admit that I was quite surprised at hearing Narathzul calling her 'a whore'), but he does bring about her downfall. Like Jocaste, she committed suicide after having seen what became of her son, her worst enemy. But that's not all! But the rest does not concern Narathuzl, so I will finish at this point.

To sum up in a few words:
A beautifully crafted masterpiece.

Kassandra1 18:43, December 5, 2010 (UTC)

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.