The Fate of Oedipus in Oedipus the King
In "Oedipus the King" there comes a point in the play where Oedipus
learns something that plays an important role throughout the play. He
learns from a oracle that he will eventually kill his own Father and sleep
with his own mother. As one could imagine this is a shock to Oedipus, and
he does not believe the oracle. However, he cannot prevent any of this
from happening because it is his fate. Oedipus is a victim of circumstances
beyond his control, his life had already been planned by the Greek Gods.
Throughout the whole play there are references made to many of the
ancient Greek Gods, for example, Apollo, Zeus, Dionysis, and Artemis are
discussed quite often. In ancient Greece the people believed that if
anything happened one of the god's had a reason for it. Each god was
related to one specific thing like Poseidon being the god of the sea. They
thought that if there was a tidal wave or a hurricane it was because
Poseidon was angry at them. This is the basis for my assumption that
Oedipus had no control over his fate.
First of all, when Oedipus is just a baby his father, King Laius of
Thebes, is told in an oracle that his own son will kill him. So, with the
agreement of his wife, Jocasta, the baby's feet are pinioned, and it's
given to a slave who is supposed to leave it to die on Mt. Cithaeron.
However, the slave feels sorry for the baby, and gives it to a fellow
shepherd from Corinth. The shepherd from Corinth presented the baby to the
childless King of Corinth, who is Polybus, and he brings him up as his own.
He gives him the name Oedipus, whi...
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the characters in the play. While doing so Oedipus could in no way control
his own fate. The god's mislead him, and did not allow him to keep from
his destiny. Oedipus was indeed a victim. A victim of circumstances
beyond his control, and it just goes to show that it is impossible for
someone to escape their own fate.
Works cited and Consulted:
Murray, Robert D. Jr. "Sophocles' Moral Themes." In Readings on Sophocles, edited by Don Nardo. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, 1997.
"Sophocles" In Literature of the Western World, edited by Brian Wilkie and James Hurt. NewYork: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1984.
Sophocles. Oedipus Rex. Transl. by F. Storr. no pag.