Oedipus: Fate vs. Free will

1119 Words3 Pages

When establishing whether it was fate or free will that determined the outcome of Oedipus’ life we must take in to consideration each side. Some people can say that he brought all of his suffering on himself but then again some people can say that it was his destiny that bad things were to happen to him. 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. Oedipus’ questioning of the Delphic Oracle as to whom was his biological parents after hearing rumors that the ones that raised him were not his parents lead to him being involved in the foretold fate of his biological father, Laius. He was informed of his destiny to mate with his own mother and shed with his own hands the blood of his own sire. To avoid this foretelling of killing his father and mating with his mother Oedipus attempted to move away although he still did not know that Merope was not his biological mother and Polybus was not his biological father. While ... ... middle of paper ... ... by calling in other soothsayers who do not wish to speak as to what they know regarding the murder of their king. He continues to push and then does not believe the information that he is given because he believes everyone is out to get this kingdom that he so easy won. All of these choices are predetermined. Even though Oedipus knew so much but couldn’t or didn’t try to piece things together. He thought he was leaving to protect his parents, Merope and Polybus. This showed how much he cared for them by trying to take the problem, meaning himself, out of the equation. “I was running to a place where I would never see that shameful prophecy come true (45).” However in the end he ran to the place where the prophecy was destine to be fulfilled. Free will or fate this particular story has events set in motion that concluded in its own fulfillment.

Open Document