The Role of Fate in Oedipus Rex

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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. When he confirms through two messengers and an oracle that he is destined to marry his mother and kill his father, he completely panics. He knows that is something he definitely wants to avoid, so he decided he would attempt to change his fate. But at that time, he did not realize that your fate is your fate and it will not change. When Oedipus realizes what his future holds he decides to avoid it at all costs. As a result, he picked up and ran away. He decided not to tell his parents he was leaving so that he could avoid hurting their feelings. When he was on his journey to Thebes there were people coming towards him and they got in an upset about who had the right of way where three roads crossed. He ended up killing all but one of the men there. This is where Sophocles proves that you can never run from your fate. Even Jocasta accounts for this happening, “That it was fate that he should die a victim at the hands of his own son, a son to be born to Laius and me. But now, he the king was killed by a foreign highway robber at the place were three roads meet-so goes the story” (1.1.791-796). The man he killed in that street was actually his dad. What Oedipus did not know, was that the people he thought where his parents and ran away from, were just his adoptive parents. So if he had not have... ... middle of paper ... ...s you wonder if Jocasta and Oedipus had not run from their fate, what other way Sophocles would have made it happen. Also, just when the characters think they have nothing to worry about, just when they think they avoided their fate, it comes back to bite them. Sophocles makes it interesting in this way. This approach definitely keeps the reader interested because we wonder what other way he will use this writing technique in his play. I think that if Oedipus and Jocasta had never of know of their fate it still would have come true. The gods would have just figured out another way for everything to happen the way it did. When the gods want something, they get it. Although we will never be able to know for sure if our fate is set in stone or not we know for sure that in Oedipus Rex the characters fate were all set in stone, whether for the good or for the bad.
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