A question that has existed in the minds of many since the beginning of time is whether life is determined by fate or free will. Most people have an opinion often based on their religious beliefs. Marcello Gleiser writes on the subject, “The question of free will is essentially a question of agency, of who is in charge as we go through our lives making all sorts of choices” (Gleiser). Many have looked to Oedipus: The King as a representation of fate vs. free will. Oedipus’ childhood is one in which an impossible number of things have to fall into place for it not to be fate. King Laius’ mysterious murder leads Oedipus to do some investigating, and in doing so, he uncovers something that will change his life forever. There is no way that free
The underlying theme in Oedipus Rex is that fate is more powerful than free will. On this strong basis of fate, free will doesn't even exist. This was a popular belief among the ancient Greeks. Fate may be accepted or denied by modern society, but in Oedipus's story, fate proves inevitable. In the play, Oedipus Rex, the characters Oedipus, Iocaste and Laios try to change fate.
In Sophocles' "Oedipus Rex", fate truly is a huge factor in many scenes and events. According to ancient Greek belief, the word of God was fate, and fate was the word of God. Therefore, every event that ever happened was predetermined and unchangeable. Oedipus himself has been completely victimized by fate. In the beginning of the play, he was "fated" to kill his father and marry his own mother and conceive children with her. Since it was the word of Apollo, the god, to the Greeks it meant that it was unchangeable. Oedipus escaped Corinth, the supposed city of his birth, and ran far away. He happened upon an old man in the crossroads-a fated event. Though he did not know it at the time, when he killed the man, it turned out to be his own father-a prophecy he was destined by fate to fulfill (Elsom, 85).
Before Oedipus was born a profit to his dad the Kings that he would be killed by his own son and the son would marry it mother. The king ordered the baby to have stack drove into its feet then thrown in to the sea. The man who was supposed to do it didn’t. In stand he took baby Oedipus to the maintains in left him. Oedipus was fond and given to a different king in Queen to raise. When he was a young man he told the king in queen were not he real parent and went to find the truth from another profit. Oedipus was not told whether the king and queen were his real parent but only that he would kill his dad and marry his mother. He ran away from home to the city Thebes. On the way he kills a man and his group of workers. He then wins a battle of wits against the sphinx. The city of Thebes name him the new king he marry the queen Jocasta and has four kids. Thebes fall into a pelage in to fix it Oedipus go to the seer for help. The seer tells him he killed the old king. From that point he finds out the king was he father and that he had married his mother and had kid with her. Jocasta kills herself, Oedipus guts out his own eyes and leave the city. In the case of Oedipus, he and everyone around him goes to every extreme to make sure the prophecy won’t come true but it does anyways. This just show that no matter how much he tried his free will and decision could not undo
First we will look at fate. The definition of fate is a force or power that predetermines events or an inevitable events predestined by force. I believe that Oedipus’ fate in life was sealed for him to be exiled and alone in the end before he was even born. His father, Laius was told that he “was fated to die by the hand of his son to be born to him…as for the son – three days after his birth … Laius had him cast away on the pathless mountains”. Laius’ descendants were cursed because of his actions to another. Laius did not believe he had a son or living child to carry out this telling. So he went about his life without worry believing that the one child he had brought into this world was gone. Oedipus was this unknown child that did not know he was that child either. He believed he was that of another. Forces were at work without any control.
Firstly, a significant portion of the play consists of Oedipus complaining about his status (Sophocles 65, 65, 72, 79). Complaints are not at all the mark of one who accepts responsibility for their situation, as Oedipus should. Complaining constantly to others about a problem that one caused for oneself is not at all something any sane person would do if they truly see themselves as guilty. In fact, Sophocles seems to go out of his way in Oedipus at Colonus to set Oedipus up as a helpless man with absolutely no control. Oedipus is incapable of caring for himself due to blindness and frailty, his daughters have to escort him everywhere, and he is forced to be an outcast and is only able to come to rest because of the grace of the Athenians (Sophocles 59, 101, 106). The main plot consists of other people trying to decide where Oedipus goes for his death, and the final outcome is not the decision of Oedipus or any of the other people, but that of Apollo himself (Sophocles 106-107). Oedipus is completely and utterly at the mercy of fate and those around him, which is an incredibly stark contrast to the power he held over himself and his kingdom in Oedipus the King. These things alone, however, are mere setup that do not necessarily indicate determinism. “Perhaps Sophocles merely wanted to highlight how low Oedipus’s actions
Jocasta explains that an oracle called for her husband's death to be at the hand of his own son. Seeing that thieves evidently killed the king, Oedipus as the new king began trying to find the culprits. The chorus and Jocasta all recall that Laius was killed by thieves where three paths cross. With this in mind, there was no reason to believe that the oracle was right. It was long ago the oracle said that Laius and Jocasta's child would end up killing his father and marrying his own mother. Laius then decided their child should be brought up to the mountain that separated the two cities. He ordered a servant to go to the top if this mountain and leave the baby there to die. Obeying the king, the servant did so. At the top of the mountain, a shepherd said that the King and Queen of Corinth could take the abandoned child and raise it as if it was their own. The child grew up with the belief that he was raised by his biological parents. Away from his biological parents, Oedipus never learned the truth about his past. This has a serious effect on Oedipus’s decision making as he thinks that he is going to kill the two persons who have raised him when he hea...
Oedipus was unknowingly set down the path towards impending doom by the Gods at an early young age, and perhaps one could venture as far as to say that his destiny was written before he was born into this world. He was sent away from Thebes by King Laius and Queen Jocasta - his true parents - and was raised by the king and queen of Corinth. The truth of this arrangement was concealed from Oedipus. He was then later told by a prophet that he was destined to “mate with [his] own mother, and shed with [his] own hands the blood of [his] own [father],” Oedipus inadvertently fulfils the final half of this prophecy while leaving Corinth with the intention of avoiding this realisation. He meets the King Laius, of Thebes, at a crossroads. Whether out of pride or a simple argument, Oedipus ultimately commits an act of unknowing patricide over who had the right of way. Being unawar...
In the story, “Oedipus the King” before Oedipus became king of Thebes, he made choices that led to events that defined his fate. The first event emerged when Oedipus heard a drunken man saying that the ones who cared for Oedipus at Corinth were not his biological parents. The terrible news is what set forth the very first steps towards the beginning of the events that led to his fate. Oedipus confused and interested in the truth, went on to speak with God. However, the God did not answer what Oedipus questioned and instead had his fate foretold. “The god dismissed my question without reply; he spoke of other things. Some were clear, full of wretchedness, dreadful, unbearable: As, that I should lie with my own mother, breed children from all men would turn their eyes; and that I should be my father’s murderer,” (Gioia, 2010). Oedipus still unfamiliar, of who his parents were, chose to flee from home in attempt to prevent the God’s statement of his fate from coming true. Oedipus’ choice of fleeing the country was perhaps a bad decision. It was what led him to experience the first event of his fate. As Oedipus goes his...
It is clear to see that Oedipus is an impulsive and passionate man, which causes Oedipus to fulfill the prophecy that haunts him. He flees the kingdom of Corinthian in order to avoid his fate. Along his journey he comes to a crossroad that is blocked by a chariot, and “in a fit of anger” Oedipus kills the father he never knew (Meyer 1422). Oedipus’ anger causes him to kill the father he never knew and all the men in the entourage. Oedipus’ cannot control his temper and this personality flaw leads him to his fate.
Oedipus had many options after he learned of the Prophecy, and the choice he made to leave Corinth was one of his own free will, showing that destiny was not the factor that caused the horrific conditions in his life. In this part of the story, Oedipus had just found out, from the drunk man, that his father was not Polybus. So he went to the Oracle, and the Oracle told him that he
In Sophocles ' Oedipus the King, the themes of fate and free will are very strong throughout the play. Only one, however, brought about Oedipus ' downfall and death. Both points could be argued to great effect. In ancient Greece, fate was considered to be a rudimentary part of daily life. Every aspect of life depended and was based upon fate (Nagle 100). It is common belief to assume that mankind does indeed have free will and each individual can decide the outcome of his or her life. Fate and free will both decide the fate of Oedipus the King.
Many times in life, people think they can determine their own destiny, but, as the Greeks believe, people cannot change fate the gods set. Though people cannot change their fate, they can take responsibility for what fate has brought them. In the story Oedipus, by Sophocles, a young king named Oedipus discovers his dreadful fate. With this fate, he must take responsibility and accept the harsh realities of what’s to come. Oedipus is a very hubris character with good intentions, but because he is too confident, he suffers. In the story, the city of Thebes is in great turmoil due to the death of the previous king, Laius. With the thought of helping his people, Oedipus opens an investigation of King Laius’s murder, and to solve the mystery, he seeks advice from Tiresias, a blind prophet. When Laius comes, Oedipus insists on having the oracle told to all of Thebes showing no sign of hesitation or caution. This oracle states that he will kill his father and marry his mother. Oedipus must learn to deal with his terrible and appalling fate the way a true and honorable king would. Because...
Some people say that there is no way to control your own life, that your life has been planned out for you ahead of time and there is nothing you can do to escape this fate. Others believe that your life is a matter of choice, and what happens to you during your life is a result of your actions. The story of Oedipus Rex by Sophocles seems to prove truth in both of these statements, that there is a life predetermined for you yet you can alter your life, but you can not escape your prophecy. The quote "I am the master of my fate; I am the captain of my soul," by William Henley states just the opposite of what seems to be proven in Oedipus Rex. Because of the references in the story of Oedipus, I disagree with the quote made by William Henley.