The concept of fate versus free will is very much like a map. One has a destination, but many possible routes to get there. The destination is one’s fate, but the paths, or free will, is what controls when and how one will get there. In Oedipus the King, Sophocles argues that Oedipus’ choices, not his prophesied destiny, ultimately causes his downfall. Oedipus’ decision to be prideful, stubborn, and rash all contributes to his impending doom. In Thebes, the law of free will prevails over men.
Although Oedipus has already fulfilled his destiny, his excessive pride pushes him to reveal the truth of the murder of King Laius. Had Oedipus not acted upon that pride, he would have never realized that he had achieved his dreadful prophecy. Oedipus ignores the dangerous warnings of his companions, and instead increases the urgency of the hunt for the murderer. “Listen to you? No more. I must know it all, / must see the truth at last” (1168-1169). Oedipus chooses to pursue the truth about King Laius’ murderer, not knowing he was the culprit. His own reckless pride makes Oedipus want to be the hero that would save Thebes from the deadly plague triggered by the murder of Laius. “I’ll start again- I’ll bring it all to light myself” (150)! Oedipus’ pride once again pushes him to find out the truth of the old kings murder. He wants to act as a God and protect his city. Oedipus’ free will causes him to be prideful, therefore hastening his downfall. “Now my curse on the murderer…” (280). When Oedipus curses the murderer, he unknowingly curses himself, too. Oedipus has multiple chances to turn away from his fate, but his excessive pride only leads him closer to it.
Oedipus’ stubborn choice to pursue the mystery of King Laius’ death despite the ...
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...elf, I gave the command myself” (1512). Oedipus gives the command for the murderer of King Laius to be banned, thereby ensuring that the guilty party will be convicted and have no way out of the punishment. Oedipus’ free will causes him to make reckless decisions that increase the severity of his doom.
The question of free will is explored in Sophocles’ tragedy, Oedipus The King. Although it was prophesied that Oedipus would kill his father and bed his mother, the truth of the prophecy would never have been discovered if not for Oedipus’ rash decisions. Oedipus’ prideful, stubborn, and arrogant choices hastened his doom and added to the destruction his demise caused. Each choice Oedipus made took him further down the path toward his fate, but at each crossroad he had the chance to turn back. Oedipus was the master of his own destiny.
Oedipus the King
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In Sophocles’ Oedipus the King, the reader finds Oedipus as an overzealous king, but one that cares deeply for the people who are under his rule. After solving the mystery of the Sphinx and under the belief that he has escaped the prophecy of killing his father and marrying his mother, Oedipus’ self-confidence goes into over drive. His compassion, for the pain and suffering his people are under, causes him to pronounce a curse on the murderer of Laius. Unknown to the king, he is condemning himself for the crime he committed years ago.
In the play, Oedipus Rex, Oedipus’s downfall was due to his pride. His prideful thinking caused him to make decisions without thinking that contributed to his downfall. Oedipus calls upon the prophet Tiresias to help stop the plague in Thebes and reveal who the murderer of King Laius is. When Tiresias tells Oedipus that
Another thought that exemplifies the significance that free will holds, is seen in elements of Sophocles' classic, which revealed that Oedipus had more knowledge over the details of his dilemma than he let himself become conscious of. The last idea will reveal how the onset of fear will push people down a treacherous path of risk and pain, which is also seen in the play through multiple characters. Free will is an attribute that all people possess. It could work as a tool to get individuals through the scary twists their lives may entail. It could also work against them in many ways, which depends on the level of human weakness and ignorance. But, the most important assertion that can be made after considering the argument of, "fate vs. free will," is that...
“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another”. This quote by Napoleon Hill signifies that whatever we do or say will have an impact on the people around us. This also shows how fate and free will can tie into influence. Whether it be a higher power deciding your life for you or choices that people make. Fate means being influenced by a higher power to fulfill your fate. Where free will is defined as having a personal choice for your behavior. In the play Oedipus king of Sophocles, Oedipus is destined to fulfill a prophecy. During his reign there is a curse put on Thebes. While looking for the murderer a prophet and one of his officials realize how ignorant
From the beginning of civilization, humans have pondered profusely about if one’s life is determined by their fate, that which is inevitably predetermined; destiny or derived through personal decisions. How each era viewed these topics can be determined through popular literature of that time. This essay will analyze and compare two pieces of literature of vastly different time periods to understand what the author wants the readers to take away; the lesson learned. Being from two different time periods, have vastly different messages about fate and free will. In Sophocles’ version of Oedipus, it is heavily suggested that fate is the sole influence and causes one's downfall in life. Hosseini, in his book A Thousand Splendid Suns use the theme
There were a series of events that occurred causing Oedipus did to lure himself to destruction. Oedipus wouldn?t have cursed himself so ignorantly had he been more diligent to analyze the murder with the former King Laius. He deliberately wanted to curse the murder. (On page 438; lines 226-271) "Upon the murder I invoke this curse- whether he is one man and all unknown, or one of many- may he wear out his life in misery or doom! If with my knowledge he lives at my hearth, I pray that I myself may feel my curse."
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...
The world may never know if we have power to control our ultimate destinies or not. However, it is clear in Oedipus the King and The Epic of Gilgamesh that free will does not exist. Oedipus and Gilgamesh are puppets being controlled by the gods above, helpless to exercise free will. No matter what course they take, Oedipus cannot escape from killing his father and marry his mother and Gilgamesh cannot escape death. Nevertheless, their fears cause them to try to manipulate their actions and stop their fates from occurring. It is only a matter of time before these two characters fail in their attempts and realize that trying to control destiny is futile.
In English literature and Greek mythologies fate and free will played colossal responsibilities in creating the characters in the legendary stories and plays. The Greek gods believed in fate and interventions, predictions of a life of an individual before and after birth which the individual has no control over their own destiny. Free will and fate comingle together, this is where a person can choose his own fate, choose his own destiny by the choices the individual will make in their lifetime. According to Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of free will is the “freedom of humans to make choices that are not determined by prior cause of divine intervention”. Fate and the gods who chose their destinies directed Gilgamesh, Oedipus and Achilles.
For Oedipus, prophecy is not the main source of his fall towards society; rather, his hubris blinds himself from recognizing his personal sin in the world, thus leading to his demise. Sophocles even skillfully uses a metaphor through the words “ as led by a guide” to further explain the “supernatural being” that ultimately decides the tragic fate of the family of Oedipus. In addition, through the death of Jocasta, the reader is immediately attuned of Oedipus’ raging moment of violence and will be petrified by the overwhelming power of the gods, thus realizing the importance of being cautious before making a final choice. Indeed, after an individual settles on a decision, the gods take control of the person’s fate, hurling numerous consequences to him if he makes the wrong decision. Moreover, as Oedipus suddenly becomes the unintended victim of the gods through his sinful decision to execute Laius, he is forced to relinquish his predominate impetus for pridefulness in exchange for a heart of deep realization and forgiveness. At the end of the play, Oedipus sacrifices everything in order to remove his guilt through the consequences of his atrocious actions witnessed by the gods. After Oedipus realizes the astringent fate he was destined to encounter through his sinful murder of Laius, he immediately attempts to take responsibility for his
Sophocles demonstrates in the play Oedipus the King that a human being, not a God, ultimately determines destiny. That is, people get what they deserve. In this play, one poorly-made judgment results in tragic and inescapable density. Oedipus fights and kills Laius without knowing Laius is his father. Then, Oedipus's pitiless murdering causes several subsequent tragedies such as the incestuous marriage of Oedipus gets into the flight with Laius. However, Oedipus's characteristics after Laius's death imply that Oedipus could avoid the fight as well as the murder of his father, but did not. Ultimately, Oedipus gets what he deserves due to his own characteristics that lead him to murder Laius: impatience, delusion, and arrogance.