The Destruction of Oedipus the King
The events in the play "Oedipus the King" show an underlying relationship of mans free will existing within the cosmic order or fate that the Greeks believed guided the universe. Man was given the freedom to choose ones own acitons, and was ultimately held responsible for them. Both ideas of fate and free will played an undividing role in his destruction. Clarence Miller considered the killing of his father to be fate. " This is what I consider that if fate is meant to be by a God, there is no way of avoiding fate," Miller said.
Another theme in the story is of truth and freedom. In the Bible, Christ says, "know the truth and it shall set you free." Pieris Berreitter felt that the whole belief of truth brings about a paradox of what is written in literature. " When Oedipus learns of the truth he does not rejoice or thank gods for the freedom it has brought; instead he stabs his eyes out and loses his honor and his kingdom," argues Berreitter. He goes on to say, " Can this be freedom, and if in fact it is,are those who discover a dark tragic past destined to suffer as Oedipus did?"
He makes a very good point,is the truth sometimes to much for one to handle? Yes sometimes it is, but it is a true hero that can find the strength to overcome it. I think the most tragic part of the story was how he handled the truth about his birth parents. I am sure it was awful for him to come to the realization of his fate coming true, but it wasn't all his fault. He did not have complete control of the situation, especially when he was younger.
When we are children, we are innocent. We believe what we are told to believe and nothing else. He was told that he would kill his father and betrothe his mother, so he fled Corinth. He was not " fleeing his past," as Berreitter states, he was trying to stop the tragedy of the future. If he only knew the truth about his adoptive parents, then he would have stayed in Corinth and never had met up with his father.
Today, people could learn from Oedipus's mistake. Though the truth can be tough to hear, we need to learn how to handle it.