Though the gods controlled the characters’ lives it had been the limited free will of the characters to choose the path that would ultimately lead to their demise. This is demonstrated when Oedipus heard that “[he] was foredoomed to make [his] mother [his] wide, and kill [his] father, with [his] own hands shedding his [fathers] blood.”(Sophocles, 1005-1007) “[... Oedipus] fled away, putting the stars [b]etween [him] and Corinth, never to see home again, that no such horror should ever come to pass. (Sophocles, 796-797). Not wanting to be a victim of his fate, Oedipus had left the home of his parents because he had not wanted to kill the people he thought to be his parents. It was his free will that had lead him to Thebes.
If he didn’t declare it, then he would not be exiled even though the truth is revealed. Also, Oedipus decided to fight back against his father, which resulted in his father’s death, by his own free will. Thus, Oedipus’s own actions defined his own demise. Oedipus is a victim of fate; however, he is also a victim of his own free will. This may be true; however, Oedipus is more of a victim of his own fate because from the beginning of his life, he was already cursed and he couldn’t escape his fate even though he put in many efforts in avoiding
Only after communicating with the Chorus, he realized the full situation. This is similar to Oedipus because he also did not originally follow Tiresias by continuing to seek answers. The inability to accept the demands led to the downfall and death of their family. Creon’s incompetence was at his own will, as he made that choice to postpone saving Antigone. This was the irony, as his selfish personality formulated his fate.
It is his own fault that his life spiralled down a nasty path. The oracle might have predicted his downfall, but he was never born with the misfortune he claimed that is bestowed upon him by the gods. The choices that he made are the ones that make his path in life and no one else but him will push him to go through with it. Leaving Corinth was a decision he made on his own to escape. Killing off the men that cut him off the road is his conclusion to put out his anger.
Some people believe that all of their actions are predetermined; almost as if it is set and stone. On the other hand, others believe that you make your own actions and decisions. The story of Oedipus Rex is one of the best examples for this because Oedipus is faced with the impending truth of his foretold prophecy, but continues to try and avoid it through his own choices. No amount of running and hiding could free him from what he was always going to be condemned to; killing his father and sleeping with his mother. In the end, it was fate that led to his downfall, and fate that controls the lives of people.
So if he had not have been so set on changing his fate, then that awful fate the oracle predicted, might not have come true as he imagined. In this instance, Sophocles proves that you cannot change your fate because it has already been decided. The gods knew that Oedipus would try and run away and that was part of the fulfillment of his fate. But Oedipus is not the only character that had his fate rule over his own plans. Jocasta, Oedipus’s mother and wife also tried to run from her fate.
On the contrary, he took full responsibility for his actions, even though he had no evil intent. On the other hand, neither was he fated to blind himself at the end of the chronicle; he could have accepted his banishment and gone on with his life as best he could. As a result, he is shunned by the Greeks for the ghastly deed of self-mutilation. It seems that fate’s reach stretches only so far and that many Oedipus’ decisions were his own. Oedipus may have been destined to share an incestuous relationship with his mother and to kill his father, but the other aspects of his life were a result of his choices.
No matter his decisions, the god’s gift to Oedipus will lead him to the path given to him. ‘He can’t escape fate the gods gave to him neither can he escape the truth being told to him by the Oracles’. “Take me away, far, far from Thebes, quickly, cast me away, my friends; this great murderous ruin, this man cursed to heaven, the man the deathless gods hate most of all!” (Sophocles 1479). His stubbornness can’t accept the truth of the gods but he keeps pushing further and further leading to his downfall. There was nothing he could have done to change the prophecies of the gods, what is being said has already taken a toll upon him.
Sophocles clearly suggests that both fate and one’s action works hand on hand, it is clear and becomes difficult to judge Oedipus for incest given his unawareness. As predicted from the Oracle, Oedipus fate will be to kill his own father and marry his mother, he discovers that he has already fulfilled his fate by his insistent in knowing the truth. Oedipus is given a series of choice in discovering his identity or leaving it to up to fate throughout the play. His egotistical and persistent nature lead him to thoughtlessly make the incorrect decisions, consequently, it is Oedipus’s burden that the tragedy is revealed, not the responsibility of fate. In the mean well Oedipus and those close to him consider “fate” the main reason of Oedipus downfall.
In Oedipus Rex, fate is something that unavoidably befalls two characters. The gods decide Oedipus and Jocasta’s fate even before they know it. Trying to avoid destiny is pointless because no matter what, it will catch up to you where ever you are. It is often thought that you can change your destiny, but in reality our fate was put into action the day we were born. Throughout the play, Oedipus tries to change his fate.