Fate And Free Will In Oedipus The King

analytical Essay
1493 words
1493 words

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.

Both sides of the argument can be greatly supported. The Greeks believed in the idea that personality of the individual greatly affected his or her life (Nagle 120). Their personality was what decides their own free will. A wise man will make good decisions in his life; an ignorant and stubborn man won 't be so fortunate. The character traits of a person have a certain positive or negative affect on the choices that he or she makes. For Oedipus, one of these attributes was the desire for knowledge and truth about his own existence. This driving force in the play led to the truth of his origin. This ties in with his own aspect of free will. His free will is based on his drive for knowledge.

Throughout the entire play, Oedipus pushes Tiresias, Creon, Jocasta, the …show more content…

In this essay, the author

  • Analyzes the themes of fate and free will in sophocles' oedipus the king, but only one brought about his downfall and death. in ancient greece, fate was a rudimentary part of daily life.
  • Explains that the greeks believed in the idea that personality of the individual greatly affected his or her life.
  • Analyzes how oedipus pushes tiresias, creon, jocasta, the oracle, messenger, and the shepherd for information regarding his beginnings.
  • Analyzes how oedipus demonstrates an important trait in his character, stubbornness, when he reacted to the man pushing him aside at the crossroads.
  • Analyzes how oedipus defeated the sphinx by solving the riddle. he could have refused to take the missing king's throne, or declined to marry the former.
  • Analyzes how jocasta and laius' actions were not made by their own judgement, but reactions to a situation that neither of them was prepared to deal with.
  • Analyzes how jocasta and lauis never sent oedipus to die as an infant. he wouldn't have engaged in misled wandering after he left his adopted home.
  • Analyzes how oedipus' desire for knowledge can be looked at by the standpoint of fate. he can't escape the fate the gods have given him.
  • Analyzes how the gods played apart in oedipus' prophecy to kill his own father, which was unavoidable because of his stubbornness. his personality was the cause of the events.
  • Analyzes how the prophecy given to lauis and jocasta is another example of unavoidable fate. the gods dictated what was going to happen, leading to the vanquishing of oedipus.
  • Analyzes how the greatest show of fate in the text is when oedipus gauges his eyes out with the golden clips. the gods controlled his personality and therefore controlled the outcome of his life.
  • Explains that free will and fate can be related to every aspect of oedipus the king. the gods who control fate manipulate the thinking and concepts in human's freewill.
  • Analyzes how sophocles' oedipus the king shows that mankind has the ability, even with prophecies, to make choices free from influence of divine forces.

He could have also declined to marry the former king 's wife, unaware that the queen was his own mother. He accepted both of these without any regrets. If his decision was different it might have altered the course of events in the future. His personality made sure that the decisions went the way they did. These choices were made by Oedipus with his own free will, his own decisions. He didn 't have to accept these gifts, but did none the less. These conclusions would lead to his own demise, but they were his own mistakes, not

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