The Power of Fate in Oedipus the King
The concept of fate has existed since the time of the ancient Greeks. The Greeks believed very strongly in fate, which can be defined as either a power beyond human control that determines events, or the outcome or end. In "Oedipus Rex," King Oedipus lives and dies by fate. Fate influences the entire plot, thereby allowing for some interesting developments that may be unpredictable to the audience.
Thesis Statement: In the story of Oedipus Rex, Sophocles concludes that fate is an all-powerful force which controls every action, and that every choice made by man’s free will, whether wise or foolish, all lead to the inevitable fate the gods have written for them.
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.
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.
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.
If prophecy were to be real, one could expect what is bound to happen in the future. This is true; at least in “Oedipus the King” in which the protagonist, Oedipus calls forth his doom unwillingly. Fate is defined as something that unavoidably befalls a person. The author of “Oedipus the King,” Sophocles, writes a tragic fate that Oedipus was born to experience. Fate is what is meant to happen and cannot be avoided or unchanged. Furthermore, events that lead to other events could be the result for one to meet their fate. In “Oedipus the King,” Sophocles expresses the nature of fate to be determined upon choices made.
Fate is the belief that a person's life is being controlled by destiny while free will is the belief that a person's life is being controlled by themselves where they choose how to live their life and without an external force. Although this topic has divided people for many centuries, many famous poets and authors have used this to their advantage. One example of fate versus free will is Oedipus Rex by Sophocles. Oedipus Rex should be considered to be categorized as a free will drama because of several events that happen that shows Oedipus free will, such as the example of the messenger telling Jocasta the good news, 2“MESSENGER: The people of Isthmus will choose Oedipus to be their king. That is the rumor there.” (1061-1062) The Messenger
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.
Ever since the beginning of time, fate and freewill have both been concepts whose existence has never truly been proven to mankind. In society, many people believe they have the right to choose their own path, but they are wrong. From the past to today, the way anyone’s life is governed hasn’t changed at all; everything has already been determined for everyone. Everything that happens, happens for a reason beyond anyone’s field of knowledge. These things or powers, govern the future from the beginning to the end. The play, Oedipus The King is a myth about a great ruler who is going against his fate trying to have freewill but fails. This great King Oedipus lived in Thebes, when he first got there he saved the people after losing their own King, Laius. When Oedipus was trying to figure out who killed King Laius, he spoke with a prophet in his palace. He asked who killed Laius where the three roads meet. The
A question that has existed in the minds of many since the beginning of time is whether life is determined by fate or free will. Most people have an opinion often based on their religious beliefs. Marcello Gleiser writes on the subject, “The question of free will is essentially a question of agency, of who is in charge as we go through our lives making all sorts of choices” (Gleiser). Many have looked to Oedipus: The King as a representation of fate vs. free will. Oedipus’ childhood is one in which an impossible number of things have to fall into place for it not to be fate. King Laius’ mysterious murder leads Oedipus to do some investigating, and in doing so, he uncovers something that will change his life forever. There is no way that free