Before we approach this complex question inductively, we are at first obliged to contemplate what definitions and assumptions are being made. This essay, perhaps more so than others, requires a more extensive look at this aspect of the question, because of the sheer variety of possible responses. However, I now have reduced them to three possibilities. Firstly, we could make the assumption that perhaps as destiny controls all fates, then Oedipus' character was created long before he was conceived. On the other hand, we could also say that perhaps Oedipus' horrific fate came about because of his character and fate. The final possibility is that everything is inevitable - therefore no one ever has had any say in their own fate, let alone Oedipus. In this essay I would like to discuss these three ideas, and perhaps draw a conclusion at the end on which I feel to be the most valid.
The first solution to this question, as I said earlier, is the idea that destiny makes character. As destiny supposedly in the Greek mindset maps out all events before they occur, we can today assume with this logic that perhaps the components that "built" Oedipus' character were caused by fate. We know today that character is determined by biological factors and experience. These biological factors would have been determined by how well he was fed, how well he developed, his genes etcetera. The experience would have also been determined by the pre-destined master plan of Fate. Thus it is possible to argue that Oedipus, as components of his character and mind, was entirely shaped by fate and therefore cannot be held responsible for what he has done, as he has no control over his actions.
But the premises that th...
... middle of paper ...
...e dealt with in a normal way. This is theatre. It has been crafted to look as though the fall is due to some error of action, strongly interlaced with fate. Yet despite all this, I do not feel that this is how the play has materialised. It seems to me as though Oedipus could not have stopped the actual horrific incest and patricide occurring, only the realisation of it. To me, as a non-believer in fate, nothing is due to Oedipus' character. He seems merely unfortunate, a victim of superstition. Yet to those of you who accept fate, then perhaps this could be the explanation. It is a completely subjective decision, based on a personal interpretation. This is something that I cannot decide. Thus I leave the decision open, but my decision closed. Neither is right, and neither is wrong.
Sophocles. Oedipus Rex. New York: Dover Publications, Inc., 1991.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- At the heart of every great tragedy lies the universal struggle between the human inclination to accept fate absolutely and the natural desire to control destiny (Stockton). Like most of his plays, in Shakespeare’s masterpiece Hamlet one of the prevailing themes centers on the question, “Does fate and providence overrule man’s own choices and decisions?” Throughout the work, the main character Hamlet views Fortune in various differing lights as he plots and plans his revenge. This complex interpretation of Fate’s influence is also shared with Horatio, Hamlet’s most treasured friend.... [tags: fate, destiny, play analysis, Shakespeare]
1003 words (2.9 pages)
- Oedipus The King Discovers His Fate In today’s culture we live our personal decisions that we strongly believe in In the play Oedipus The King by Sophocles fate is constantly hidden and freewill uncovers his Destiny. Odious is battling against is his fate. In the beginning of the play Oedipus is hopeful to discover about his family background. He is struggling to accept the truth about his past, and he decides to investigate his past, and he becomes his own worst enemy by destroying relationship with his family and with himself.... [tags: Oedipus the King, Sophocles, Oedipus, Jocasta]
715 words (2 pages)
- Throughout life, many of us will find ourselves in some of the worst situations that leave us wondering who’s to blame. The truth is that the misfortunes that befall us are due to our own actions and sometimes due to fate or bad luck. Fate is one person's destiny and it can not be understood by simple mortals but a greater power beyond human comprehension. Fate is so powerful that it can control a person's outcome on life before it happens. Many people tend to become victims of fate in which they catch a glimpse of what their future is going to look like, but do not totally take hold of the outcome.... [tags: fate, karma, macbeth, shakespeare]
609 words (1.7 pages)
- The Tragedy of Fate in Oedipus the King Oedipus the King is widely regarded as a tragedy of fate. Briefly stated, it begins with a terrible plague that destroys the city. King Oedipus sends a messenger to the oracle at Delphi to find a cure. The answer that is received suggests to find out who the killer of King Laios was. Oedipus sends for the prophet Teiresias, who after much arguing, finally reveals that Oedipus himself is the murderer. Slowly but surely the history of Oedipus' situation begins to unravel, and it is discovered that there was a prophecy made that he would unwittingly kill his father and marry his mother; Oedipus fulfilled his prophecy.... [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]
808 words (2.3 pages)
- The reader finds in William Shakespeare's Macbeth that fate is not a force which one can resist easily on one's own - especially if one is already inclined to ambition. In Fools of Time: Studies in Shakespearean Tragedy, Northrop Frye stresses the connection between the witches and fate: The successful ruler is a combination of nature and fortune, de jure and de facto power. He steers his course by the tiller of an immediate past and by the stars of an immediate future. [. . .] It is this synchronizing of nature and fortune that soothsayers study, and that the witches in Macbeth know something about.... [tags: Macbeth essays]
3026 words (8.6 pages)
- “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.... [tags: Oedipus, Oedipus the King, Sophocles, Truth]
1617 words (4.6 pages)
- Oedipus the King is one of the most ironic plays ever written. Sophocles, the author, is a famous philosopher of the ancient times The Play is about Oedipus, the king of Thebes, who unwittingly killed his father and married his mother. An oracle warned Laius, the king of Thebes prior to Oedipus, that his son would slay him. Accordingly, when his wife, Jocasta, had a son, he exposed the baby on Mt. Cithaeron, first pinning his ankles together (hence the name Oedipus, meaning Swell-Foot). A shepherd took pity on the infant, who was adopted by King Polybus of Corinth and his wife and was brought up as their son.... [tags: Oedipus, Oedipus the King, Sophocles, Jocasta]
1234 words (3.5 pages)
- Lady Macbeth as a Tool of Fate The play of Macbeth is all about power and greed. It is about ambition overriding inhibitions and the conscience of a good man. We know that most people consider Macbeth to be a good and a brave man at the start of the book, for example King Duncan himself refers to him as “O valiant cousin, worthy gentleman!” He is admired for his skills in battle by everyone. It is hard to say what driving force underlies the events of the story, and it is equally hard to know what emotions or convictions drove the characters to do what they did.... [tags: GCSE Coursework Macbeth Essays]
1169 words (3.3 pages)
- The story of Oedipus The King revolves around Oedipus' voyage to avoid his own fate, something that in the end he cannot do. This literary work raises many questions regarding fate and its control over our lives, and more interestingly, our control over it – yet never gives us an answer which we can draw a solid conclusion from. One could prove that Oedipus' decisions and actions are the factors that affect his life, but whether or not “fate” can also encompass a control over one's actions is a question that cycles back to the question of control over fate.... [tags: Oedipus Rex, Sophocles]
997 words (2.8 pages)
- The Punishment of Oedipus the King At the end of Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, Oedipus, king of Thebes, ends up banished forever from his kingdom. Additionally, Oedipus physically puts out his own eyes, for several reasons which will be discussed later. The question is: Did Oedipus deserve his punishments. There are many factors that must be considered in answering this, including how Oedipus himself felt about his situation. His blinding was as much symbolic as it was physical pain.... [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]
1180 words (3.4 pages)
- tragoed Essay on the Tragic Flaws of Oedipus the King (Oedipus Rex)
- Abortion is Not the Reason for Lower Crime Rates
- A Comparison of the Poetry of Emily Dickinson and Robert Frost
- Restrictions on Guns for the Sake of Life
- Free Euthanasia Essays: Assisted Suicide
- No Clear Answer Concerning the Decriminalization of Prostitution