Influenced by Humans but Beyond Human Control: Fate in Oedipus Essay

Influenced by Humans but Beyond Human Control: Fate in Oedipus Essay

Length: 776 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Fate; something that unavoidably befalls upon a person, fate is influenced by one’s own actions, but is ultimately dictated by events beyond human control. In this play Sophocles demonstrates the power of fate through certain situations that occur throughout the play which are uncontrollable. The gods preordained Oedipus’ future, with all its intricacies and landmarks which lead Oedipus on his quest to find his identity and the truth. However, the path Oedipus “chooses” is simply a reaction to the predetermination of his life. Ultimately fate, through Oedipus’ own “choices” is his opponent throughout the play.
Oedipus, sent away from Thebes as an infant, coincidently was saved and became the prince of Corinth. Upon hearing of the prophecy of his adoptive parents he flees Corinth in hopes of not fulfilling the prophecy. Oedipus seems to constantly try to flee his fate while in doing so fate catches up with him. The new king being so caught up in his newly acquired power tries to escape his fate by “choosing” to do something. However, in reality what Oedipus considers choices are really just the gods pulling on his strings as if he was a marionette. He does not see the omnipotent power of the gods, this shows his great amount of perseverance yet lack of humility as he is trying to overcome the power of the gods, with what he believes to be free will.
“Right; but to put compulsion on the Gods against their will-no man can do that.”(279-280)
This quote is an example of dramatic irony because Oedipus is saying that to go against the will of the gods is impossible for any human being to do. However he himself is trying to escape his own fate. In analyzing this situation we see the struggle between Oedipus and his foolishness toward...

... middle of paper ...

...avoid his fate, however when fate does catch up with him, his rather admirable qualities shine through and his seemingly pointless struggle seems equated with the amount of virtue he had received.
Oedipus is a man coming to terms with his own identity, he tries to escape fate but in doing so he allows for the truth to realize itself. This is partly due to his oblivious nature, which does not permit him to see past the superficial level of the prophecy as to who is in control of the events which comprise his fate. Ultimately, the gods and fate triumph, Oedipus being so afraid of the truth which he discovered, due to his predetermined fate. Perhaps his story is meant to show that error and disaster can happen to anyone, that human beings are relatively powerless before fate or the gods, and that the best attitude to have toward life should be one of cautious humility

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Oedipus: Do Not Try to Control Your Fate Essay

- “Every man has his own destiny: the only imperative is to follow it, to accept it, no matter where it leads him.” In other words, the connotation of this anonymous quote states that despite whatever one chooses to decide, the outcome of their choices and decisions will still result to their predetermined fate. Sophocles’ tragedy, Oedipus the King, demonstrates this statement throughout the play in the role of his tragic hero Oedipus. In the course of Oedipus’ actions of trying to escape his predestined fortune, his fate and flaws of being human played major roles to bring about his downfall....   [tags: Sophocles]

Better Essays
1063 words (3 pages)

Destiny, Free Will and Choice - The Power of Fate in Oedipus the King Essay

- 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. In Sophocles' "Oedipus Rex", fate truly is a huge factor in many scenes and events.  According to ancient Greek belief, the word of God was fate, and fate was the word of God.  Therefore, every event that ever happened was predetermined and unchangeable.  Oe...   [tags: Oedipus King Oedipus Rex]

Better Essays
1069 words (3.1 pages)

Destiny, Fate, Free Will and Free Choice in Oedipus the King - Defining Fate

- Fate in Oedipus Rex       During ancient times, the Greeks believed very strongly in a concept called "fate".  What is "fate"?  Fate can be defined as a cause beyond human control that determines events.  It can also be defined as the outcome or end of some sort.  In "Oedipus Rex", King Oedipus is a character that lived by fate and died by fate.  This element of fate truly impacted the storyline and the plot, while allowing for some interesting developments that may have been unforeseen by the viewing audience....   [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]

Better Essays
1001 words (2.9 pages)

Fate against Free will in Oedipus the King by Sophocles Essay

- The purpose of this essay is to demonstrate that the events in Oedipus the King, written by Sophocles, are the result of the hero’s self determination and restless attempt to escape a terrifying destiny predicted for him by the oracle of Apollo at Delphi.
My intention is to prove that although the Fates play a crucial part in the story, it is Oedipus'choices and wrong doing that ultimately lead to his downfall. At first glance, it seems that the abhorrent destiny of the main character is at the mercy of mischievous and cruel gods....   [tags: Apollo, Delphi, literary analysis, determination]

Better Essays
1229 words (3.5 pages)

Essay on Power of the Gods and Religion in Oedipus the King

- In the tragic play, Oedipus Rex, the Gods and religion greatly influence the social structure which in turn has a profound effect upon how the events unfold. Oedipus is the head of the state. There is a direct parallel in the demise of his household and city state which eventually comes to a full circle to destroy him. Even though Oedipus is praised by his people for being a responsible and honest king, he possesses a major character flaw in his attitude towards the gods which causes the tragic torture he faces in the end....   [tags: Oedipus Rex, Sophocles]

Better Essays
713 words (2 pages)

Fate Vs. Greek Mythology Essay

- With so many choices in everyday life, it just seems natural for everyone to believe that choices aren 't already determined. With so many choices from very simple to the most complex, it seems strange to think that all the choices have been made, that are made, and will be made are already done. It’s more acceptable to believe that the choices you make, you have control over them, but this free will over choices is merely an illusion. Fate shouldn 't be regarded with just God or the ancient Greek gods, but also with our brain and the progress of time....   [tags: Time, Future, Greek mythology, Present]

Better Essays
1647 words (4.7 pages)

The Iliad And Oedipus The King Essay

- Although both The Iliad and Oedipus the King portray humans with very little control of their lives, in The Iliad the gods have some of the control, but are subservient to the power of fate and their biggest role in the story is to be an object of blame. This is contrasted by the view of power in Oedipus the king where the gods are much more involved and help carry out the Fates’ will, despite the human’s wishes, and this difference affects the thematic differences because Homer places more of the blame on humans while Sophocles gives humans less power and therefore less responsibility for their actions....   [tags: Iliad, Greek mythology, Odysseus, Achilles]

Better Essays
1900 words (5.4 pages)

The Admonitions of King Oedipus Essay example

- The Admonitions of King Oedipus And straightway music and singing beguile the immortals. All the Muses together, voice answering heavenly voice, Hymn the undying gifts of the gods and the sufferings of men, Who, enduring so much at the hands of the gods everlasting, Live heedless and helpless, unable to find for themselves Either a cure for death or a bulwark against old age....   [tags: Greek history and mythology]

Better Essays
1605 words (4.6 pages)

Oedipus Essay

- In ancient Greece, the people believed that the gods ruled their lives and controlled their destiny. Their emphasis on fate was shown in their plays. This stands true to Oedipus, he could not c0ontrol his fate. Fate kept Oedipus alive through a murder attempt and to kill his father, and to marry his mother. When Oedipus was born his father was so afraid of the prophecy that he gave his son away to be killed. The will of the gods protected Oedipus and found two people to raise him. If the gods didn’t control the lives of these people, Oedipus would surely be dead....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
423 words (1.2 pages)

Oedipus' Fate from the Gods and His Choices Essay

- 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....   [tags: Oedipus, fate, ]

Better Essays
647 words (1.8 pages)