Destiny, Fate, Free Will and Free Choice in Oedipus the King - The Fate of Oedipus

analytical Essay
1223 words
1223 words

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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...d emotions of all

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. new?tag=public&images=images/modeng&data=/texts/english/modeng/parsed&part=0&id=SopOedi

In this essay, the author

  • Opines that oedipus' shock at his mother's death is a shock to him.
  • Explains that thebes is told in an oracle that his own son will kill him.
  • Explains that the slave is supposed to leave it to die on mt. cithaeron.
  • Describes the childless king of corinth, polybus, who brings him up as his own.
  • Explains that the boy had no way to control what his parents did to him after he was born.
  • Analyzes how she tells a story of how her and laius were told by one.
  • Analyzes how the man remembers that he killed a man and wonders if it was intentional.
  • Explains that this witness to be found so that his fears can be laid to rest.
  • Opines that laius was the witness to his murder.
  • Argues that he should be left to die on mt. cithaeron just as the gods intended.
  • Analyzes how the god's mislead him, and did not allow him to keep from his own fate.
  • Narrates how polybus, the king of thebes, meets an old man driving a wagon of slaves.
  • Analyzes how he tells oedipus that the baby was given to him by jocasta to be killed, and that it was passed on to the corinthian out of pity.
  • Describes murray, robert d. jr.'s "sophocles' moral themes" and wilkie, brian, and hurt.
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