Oedipus As A Victim Of Fate Essay

Oedipus As A Victim Of Fate Essay

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“Oedipus is, as it were, only a tragic analysis. Everything is already in existence, and has only to be unraveled.” Throughout the history of literature, there has been perhaps no other character quite as complex and convoluted as Oedipus. Whether it be the reality of his parents abandoning him to die or the mere fact that he married his own mother Jocasta, Oedipus has been continually analyzed and processed by scholars in an attempt to discover the means by which Oedipus arrived at his eventual outcome. To summarize, Oedipus, being originally from Corinth, travels to Thebes in search of his true heritage. After a series of events, Oedipus becomes the king of Thebes and soon discovers the truth. Once thorough deliberation has been given to the plot of Oedipus the King, there should be a clear and concise reasoning for why this destiny has come to pass. While many individuals may argue that Oedipus was simply a victim of fate, I would instead argue that, although he was given a proclamation of fate, it was in fact Oedipus’s own actions that led him to create his own destiny. This idea can be further understood by examining Oedipus’s response to the Oracle, his overall attitude regarding his search for knowledge, his hasty actions throughout life, and his entire character.
Although Oedipus is inevitably responsible for his ending, it is important to realize that the play is not without any instance of fate. Laszlo Versenyi notes that, “though Oedipus is constrained not by external force, he is driven just as inevitably…by his own nature. Fate is not absent…it merely appears in a new guise” (Versenyi). The complexity of Oedipus the King can only be presented by such an obscure character as Oedipus. Many times, the ancient Greeks wou...


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...e the lack of careful listening, is one of the reasons Oedipus’s character is at fault. Was Oedipus this deaf-eared when he went to consult the Oracle of Delphi? If so, did he never quite comprehend the extent of the prophecy and how to avoid that particular outcome? It is interesting to consider because it would make the outcome of Oedipus the King even more ironic and tragic.
In summary, the idea of Oedipus being a victim of fate is false. Analysis shows that Oedipus truly did have the opportunity to create his own fate, but instead chose to ignore the warnings. He acted hastily and without careful consideration, which led to his prophecy becoming true. This is presented in his approach towards the oracles and his quest for knowledge, as well as his actions throughout his life. Oedipus was, in fact, always in charge of his own destiny, regardless of the prophecy.

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