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Oedipus Fate vs Free Will

Uploaded by Admin on Nov 02, 2000

Oedipus the King, was written by Sophocles between C.A.496-406B.C. In this play, Oedipus is a great example of Sophocles’ belief that fate will control a man’s life no matter how much free will exists.

Oedipus is a man of unflagging determination and perseverance, but one who must learn through the working out of a terrible prophecy that there are forces beyond any man’s conceptualization or control. Oedipus’ actions were determined before his birth, yet Oedipus’ actions are entirely determined by the Gods who control him completely. In the beginning of this tragedy, Oedipus took many actions leading to his own downfall. He tried to escape Corinth when he learned of the prophecies that were supposed to take place in his life. Instead, he fell right into the trap of the prediction by unwittingly killing his father and later marrying his mother. By doing this, he proved that his life was predetermined by fate and there was nothing he could do to change it. He could have waited for the plague to end, but out of compassion for his suffering people, he had Creon go to Delphi to plead before Apollo to relieve the curse of the plague. Instead of investigating the murder of the former King Lauis, Oedipus took matters into his own hands and cursed the murderer, now the curse would effect him as well, because he was the one who killed Lauis.. “Now my cursed on the murderer,/Whoever he is, alone man unknown in his crime or one among many, let that man drag out his life in agony, step by painful step- I curse myself as well as... if by any chance he proves to be an intimate of our house, here at my hearth, with my full know ledge, may the curse I just called down on him strike me!” (606).

Oedipus doesn’t realize the personal consequences his hunt for the murderer will have for him, and his loyalty to the truth is based on his ignorance. His pride, ignorance and unrelenting quest for the truth ultimately contributed to his destruction. An example is when Oedipus was told [after threatening Tiresias], that he was responsible for the murder of Laius. He became enraged and called the old oracle a liar. However, Oedipus thought he could outsmart the gods, but in fact, his every action moved him closer to the prophesy becoming a reality. Upon discovery of the truth...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   11/02/2000

Category:   Literature

Length:   3 pages (633 words)

Views:   1786

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