Essay on Oedipus the King: A Victim of Fate

Essay on Oedipus the King: A Victim of Fate

Length: 957 words (2.7 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

Oedipus the King would not have been successful throughout centuries as a tragic play, if Oedipus were clearly responsible for his own tragedy. The play's ongoing success was do to Oedipus' innocence which immediately makes one think he can not be fully responsible and to blame. I do not believe Sophocles would have wrote the story, or I do not think people would have ever read it or studied it had it simply been a story of a criminal's retribution. Sophocles himself believed Oedipus to be the innocent victim of an ironic tragedy, and built the play around this belief. This story was destined to happen and I believe the author would agree. The story revolves around destiny, the resistance of people to it and the ultimate ending of destiny lasting over all their attempts to avoid it. Written in a time of religious unrest, there is a lesson to be learned from this tragic play; that no matter what we do as humans, it is the god's will which dominates over us.

Oedipus seems to be an example of the Athenian's ego at the time. Oedipus is portrayed as a king concerned with his people's welfare, who searches for truth, is intelligent and takes action quickly - all qualities which Athenians prided themselves on at the time the play was written. "An Athenian is always an innovator, quick to form a resolution and quick at carrying it out....Then again, Athenian daring will outrun it's own resources; they will take risks against their better judgement, and still, in the midst of danger, remain confident" (From History of the Peloponnesian War, p. 30). This is evident through many other characters in other stories. A typical Athenian stereotype is that of which resembles Agamemnon and his family. These stereotypes were that of people who ...


... middle of paper ...


...rible destiny. He can not be accountable since the prophecy was set before he was even born. When Sophocles wrote this play he was clearly trying to depict the idea that destiny is absolute and the attempt to change it or avoid it is futile. Destiny is in the hands of the gods not the humans. This is not easy for the Athenians and people like the Athenians because they are known to take action quickly. Oedipus tries to problem solve the situation and take the fate into his own hands; however, his attempts continue to push him into his fate. The power to avoid such a fate is out of human's hands and most certainly out of the Athenian's hands. In this case free will did not exist because the fate of these characters lay in the hands of the gods. Oedipus' innocence was proclaimed by his continuous attempts to change his fate, which after all could not be changed.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

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

- The Victim of Fate in Oedipus Rex The question has been raised as to whether Oedipus was a victim of fate or of his own actions.  This essay will show that Oedipus was a victim of fate, but he was no puppet because he freely and actively sought his doom, although he was warned many times of the inevitable repercussions of his actions. When first considering this topic, I speculated that maybe it was the destiny of Oedipus to suffer, but a friend asked me to explain why Oedipus, in the act of gouging his eyes out, cries explicitly:         No more, no more shall you look on the misery about me,         The horrors of my own doing!  Too long you have known         The faces of those w...   [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]

Better Essays
3438 words (9.8 pages)

Destiny, Fate, Free Will and Free Choice in Oedipus the King - Oedipus as Victim of Prophecy

- Oedipus as Victim of Fate I strongly believe that Oedipus is a victim of fate. By trying to avoid the oracle that foretold his life he was at the same time fulfilling his fate. It was fate that led his father to Delphi to find out the destiny of his Oedipus. Also, it was fate, which made Laius and Jocaste to make the decision to kill their son. It was Oedipus’s fate that the shepherd didn't kill him. Fate also made him leave Corinth, when he was trying to avoid killing his father and marrying his mother....   [tags: Oedipus Rex Essays]

Free Essays
493 words (1.4 pages)

Oedipus As A Victim Of Fate Essay

- “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]

Better Essays
1617 words (4.6 pages)

Oedipus: Victim of Fate or He Deserves What He Got? Essay

- Fate is the development of events beyond a person's control, regarded as determined by a supernatural power. It is a very common theme used in literature. We’ve seen examples from stories such as: Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet and Iliad. We’ve been reading Oedipus the King written by Sophocles. My main thesis that I would be talking about is if: Oedipus was actually a victim of fate, or did he deserve what he got. In my opinion, Oedipus does not deserve what he got and is a victim of fate. This is because all his actions were unintentional....   [tags: Oedipus, fate, ]

Better Essays
530 words (1.5 pages)

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

- The Fate of Oedipus in Oedipus the King   In "Oedipus the King" there comes a point in the play where Oedipus learns something that plays an important role throughout the play.   He learns from a  oracle that he will eventually kill his own Father and sleep with his own mother.  As one could imagine this is a shock to Oedipus, and he does not believe the oracle.  However, he cannot prevent any of this from happening because it is his fate.  Oedipus is a victim of circumstances beyond his control, his life had already been planned by the Greek Gods....   [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]

Better Essays
1223 words (3.5 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)

The Punishment of Oedipus the King (Oedipus Rex) Essay

- 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]

Free Essays
1180 words (3.4 pages)

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

- A Paradox: Oedipus's Free will in the Play Oedipus Rex William Shakespeare once wrote, "Who can control his fate?" (Othello, Act v, Sc.2). A hero and leader must acknowledge above all else his honor, and the pride of his image.  In ancient Greek beliefs, a hero was a man who stood taller than the rest; he was able to better any conflict.  He did this not for himself or for any token award that may be given to him, but for the security of his fellow man.  Physical strength and superior wit are the two major characteristics of a hero.  These characteristics may be destined; but the use of them to help his fellow man is will.  Sophocles's short play Oedipus Rex is a tale of a hero's ascent t...   [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]

Better Essays
1309 words (3.7 pages)

Boundaries of Destiny, Fate, Free Will and Free Choice in Oedipus the King

- Boundaries of Fate and Free Will in Oedipus the King   The ancient Greeks firmly believed that the universe was guided strictly by order and fate. In Oedipus the King, Sophocles has examined the relationship between free will and fate, suggesting that free will paradoxically exists inside the boundaries of fate. It may be concluded, however, that man has free will and is ultimately held responsible for his own actions.   Oedipus' destruction was brought about by a combination of fate and free will....   [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]

Better Essays
1268 words (3.6 pages)