Destiny, Fate, Free Will and Free Choice in Oedipus the King - A Puppet on a String

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Oedipus – A Puppet on a String Gather closer around the fire, children; tonight is the night I tell my tale, of queens and kings, huge she-monsters and evil gods. You all know that story, the story of Oedipus, the man doomed to kill his father and marry his mother, his life a twisted strand in the ball of the Fates. But do you know what happened afterwards? Oedipus drifted, feeling his way through Greece, filling his remaining four senses with the delicate scent of the olive tree, the rough touch of the rocky outcrops, the sound of waves crashing and the tangy bitter taste of wine. After a time he found himself in Crete, home of the famous Labyrinth of King Minos, although by this time both King Minos and the Minotaur had long since left this world. Minos' daughter, Ariadne, ruled the rocky isle. Oedipus winced at the sharp stones under his feet and followed the ever increasing babble of the city. Suddenly he felt a sharp stone sting his side. "Ja, beggar, we don't need any more of the likes of you around here!" Oedipus cringed. "Please sir, forgive me," the once proud king murmured. He moved towards the palace where he hoped he would receive a more hospitable welcome. A wealth of scents greeted Oedipus' nose as he ambled down an alleyway: the tang of citrus, the bitter scent of unwashed people and the crisp smell of linen drying. As he approached the palace gates, Oedipus began to wonder how he would gain entrance. In answer to his thoughts, a male voice said, "You'll never get in here, you filthy peasant. Best go beg for a crust amongst the other sewer rats." The swish of linen followed, a scent of delicate perfume, and a female voice saying, "Antikretes, shame on you! Be hospitable. Why, this could be Zeus Himself in disguise." "If that's Zeus then I'm Aphrodite's girdle." "That's enough. I don't usually do this but there's something different about him. Show him to a room." "Yes, Majesty." "Oh, Your Royal Majesty," began Oedipus, suddenly realising whom he was talking to, but he was already being led away. That night Oedipus had a strange dream. He could see again, and he was sitting on a rocky outcrop overlooking the sea. Beside him was a beautiful woman with strange but wonderful eyes.

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