Sophocles. "Oedipus Rex." An Introduction to Literature, 11th ed.Eds. Sylvan Barnet, et al. New York: Longman, 1997.
Words like destiny, fate, and predestination have a much meaning to people today, as countless people believe in it. On the other hand, the belief that a person controls his life has been established as an opposing belief. The book Oedipus the King, a Greek tragedy, written by Sophocles, examines this debate between fate and choice. Although some people argue that the tragedies that took place in Oedipus' life were destined to happen, the grim circumstances that surrounded Oedipus' life were the result of his own free will and the decisions he made about many of these circumstances.
Sophocles. "Oedipus Rex." An Introduction to Literature, 11th ed.Eds. Sylvan Barnet, et al. New York: Longman, 1997. 800-836.
In the two thousand since “Oedipus Rex” was written, it has been analyzed and dissected innumerable times and in every possible way. Usually the analysis has been within the context of the play itself or within the context of other Greek tragedies. Perhaps it would be more relevant and interesting to evaluate the play within the context of the modern world.
Man has been said to be the master of their own destiny, but it all leads down to who is master and who is man. Perhaps it is not for us to question fate as it leads to the development of events that is outside our control. The real question that can be derived from the quagmire of philosophical understanding of moirai, is whether we accept our predetermined future and synapomorphy designed for us by a higher power. In breviloquence, the idea of Katharsis that causes the deep sense of pity and fear in the audience would disseminate throughout the viewers, making them feel sympathy, but not empathy. It is important to understand how this feeds the Status Quo, not in a disruptive manner, but in a more subservient nature when one challenges social taboo, the gods, or fate, in ‘anathemic' intention.
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.
Throughout history the story of Oedipus the King has remained a timeless classic. Due to this there have been many translations of the original story each with their own nuances. However, as evident when comparing the Robert Fagles and the Fitts and Fitzgerald, often times certain literary elements may be altered between translations. These changes have larger implications on the themes and motifs of the work, and make it seen in another light. Two of the biggest changes made between Fagles, and Fitts and Fitzgerald are the portrayal of the motif of fate and free will, and the word choice regarding fear and its implication for Oedipus’ character in the text.
Ehrenberg, Victor. "Fate and Sophoclean Rulers." In Twentieth Century Interpretations of Oedipus Rex, edited by Michael J. O'Brien. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1968.
Murray, Robert D. Jr. "Sophocles' Moral Themes." In Readings on Sophocles, edited by Don Nardo. San Diego, CA: Greenhaven Press, 1997.
In keeping with Aristotle’s requirement for goodness, Oedipus has a great conscience, albeit not easily recognizable at first. While he is shown at the beginning of t...
Oedipus, the fated tragic hero of Sophocles’s Oedipus Rex, is a complex character who, through slow realization, learns that one cannot escape fate. Throughout the course of the tragedy, Oedipus’s attitude evolves from arrogance to humbleness as he learns to seek for truth and finds that fate is impossible to control.
What does it mean to have free will? From my perspective it is the ability to make your own decisions when confronted with problems in order to have an outcome you desire. According to dictionary.com it is “the doctrine that the conduct of human being expresses personal choice and is not simply determined by physical or divine forces.” Even with humans being capable of choosing their own destiny, is it possible to over come fate no matter how hard you try? There is a theory of life that is summarized as everything happens for a reason because that is your destiny. My confusion is, can free will come into play and change your destiny? Can you actually have the free will to change the outcome of what fate has in store for you. Free will and fate are continuously demonstrated in Oedipus the King the play, how ever only one brought Oedipus towards downfall and ultimately to his death. An analysis of Oedipus reveals that no matter how we try to avoid our fate, it will happen.
Sixteenth century play writers often focused on the tragic irony of fate. One such play-writer is Sophacles. In one of his later plays, “Oedipus”, he writes the tragic story of a man who can’t avoid his pre-destined fate, and that some things just can’t be changed by the people in your life no matter how hard they try. Oedipus, the main character of this tragedy, he is a protagonist ruled by conflict and fate. This is evident in the characters traits and motivations, interactions with others, and the characters language and what others say about him.
Dodds, E. R., (1966). On misunderstanding Oedipus. In Kennedy, X. J., & Gioia, D., Literature an introduction to fiction, poetry, drama and writing (6th ed.). (pp. 900-901). Boston: Pearson
In Ancient Greece the existence of gods and fate prevailed. In the Greek tragedy King Oedipus by the playwright Sophocles these topics are heavily involved. We receive a clear insight into their roles in the play such as they both control man's actions and that challenging their authority leads to a fall.