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. He was a victim of fate for it was foretold at his birth that he would marry his mother and murder his father. This prophecy, as warned by the oracle of Apollo at Delphi was unconditional and inevitably would come to pass, no matter what he may have done to avoid it. His past actions were determined by fate, but what he did in Thebes, he did so of his own will.
Oedipus took many actions leading to his own downfall. Oedipus for one could have waited for the plague to end, but out of compassion for his suffering people, he had Creon go to Delphi. Another action that hastened his downfal...
... middle of paper ...
...sunderstanding the Oedipus Rex." Twentieth Century Interpretations of Oedipus Rex: A Collection of Critical Essays. Ed. Michael J. O'Brien. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1968. 17-29.
Knox, Bernard M. W. The Heroic Temper: Studies in Sophoclean Tragedy. Berkeley: U of California Press, 1964.
Segal, Charles. Oedipus Tyrannus: Tragic Heroism and the Limits of Knowledge. New York: Twayne Publishers, 1993.
Sophocles. "Oedipus Rex." An Introduction to Literature, 11th ed.Eds. Sylvan Barnet, et al. New York: Longman, 1997.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Some perceive Oedipus, in Oedipus the King, to be an evil villain, while others a completely innocent man who is plagued by fate. Sophocles, however, desired to portray Oedipus as a mix between the two- as a tragic hero. According to Aristotle’s definition, Oedipus fits the criteria of a tragic hero. According to Aristotle, Oedipus is a tragic hero because he vigorously protests his situation, believes he has his own freedom and has a supreme pride. In Oedipus Rex, Oedipus continually protests the idea that he is subjected to a prophecy.... [tags: Oedipus, Sophocles, Oedipus the King, Creon]
956 words (2.7 pages)
- Racism and Fortune in “King of the Bingo Game” Does destiny exist. If it does, does it be applicable to everyone. Destiny and fortune might exist. However, these beliefs do belong to all African American people before the Civil Right. “King of the Bingo Game” - Ralph Ellison emphasizes a similar case in his story. In this story, an anonymous African American man believes in "fate and free will". He is determined to win a bingo game. But fate would not let him have his way. Fate appears to take the course from the beginning, as he is breaking.... [tags: African American, Black people, Race, Destiny]
1142 words (3.3 pages)
- Poet and Scholar Robert Graves wrote in 1995, “Myth has two main functions. The first is to answer the sort of awkward questions that children ask, such as ‘Who made the world. How will it end. Who was the first man. Where do souls go after death?’…The second function of myth is to justify an existing social system and account for traditional rites and customs.” Oedipus the King written by Sophocles in 430 B.C. focuses around the second function that Graves noted. The play has been around for centuries, has evoked psychological theories, and will remain a classic.... [tags: Greek, Thebes]
1375 words (3.9 pages)
- Chance vs. Destiny in Oedipus the King The famous Athenian tragedy, Oedipus the King, engages with the question of chance versus destiny from a range of perspectives. Sophocles shows the immutable nature of destiny and the inability of victims to escape its course. The main character, Oedipus, is marked out for a tragic end from the time he is born until the supreme moment of the inglorious fulfillment. Despite his best efforts to alter the course of his “destiny”, Oedipus ends up in the exact scenario that is foretold by the Delphic Oracle.... [tags: Oedipus, Sophocles, Tragedy, Destiny]
1099 words (3.1 pages)
- Although it is widely alleged that destiny is by choice, there are a vast number of people who believed that it is by fate. Those who believed it is by choice follow the directions and guidance of their elders. For example, they will try to hold on to the values that their parents instilled in them and use them to guide their entire lives. Others who believed that destiny is by fate, believe that the outcome of their lives is determined by luck, and that no matter what they do or how careful they are, whatever has to happen to them must happen.... [tags: Oedipus, fate, free will]
1349 words (3.9 pages)
- Aristotle's Analysis of Oedipus Rex Aristotle is the most influential philosopher in the history of Western thought. A Greek drama by Sophocles, Oedipus Rex, was praised in the Poetics of Aristotle as the model for classical tragedy and is still considered a principal example of the genre. In this essay I will analyze Oedipus Rex using Aristotle's concepts praxis, poiesis, theoria. Thought and character make persons actions. They only indicate the basic meaning of action but if one wants to understand how the arts imitate action more than just in concepts of thought and character he or she should explore the notion of it a little further. Action springs from character an... [tags: Oedipus Rex Essays]
1259 words (3.6 pages)
- Oedipus the King: Free Will or Fate. A common debate that still rages today is whether we as a species have free will or if some divine source, some call it fate, controls our destiny. The same debate applies to Oedipus the King and Oedipus at Colonus. Does Oedipus control his actions, or are they predetermined by the gods. It’s that question that makes Oedipus a classic, and many different people think many different things. With all the oracles and talk of prophecies, its obvious that there is some divine intervention in Oedipus.... [tags: Destiny, Fate, Free Will, Free Choice]
617 words (1.8 pages)
- Fate and Free Will in Oedipus the King In today's society we let our lives be led by a certain force that we believe in very strongly. Yet, a common debate that still rages today is whether we, as a species, have free will or if some divine source, some call it fate, controls our destiny. In the play, Oedipus the King, that special force is also used and is known and defined as fate. This played an important role in the lives of the characters just as it plays one in our daily lives.... [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]
1000 words (2.9 pages)
- Fate in Oedipus the King Fate. Even the word alone is intimidating. I believe I can safely say that everyone at one point in their lives have wondered about fate. "Christian fate" is something that I have never thought of before, though it is something that I believe in with all my heart. I believe that each person has a fate in store for them. Are human lives just a predetermined course of events. The idea of destiny is one that has been written about since the beginning of time. In Sophocles' drama, Oedipus the King, fate seems to have a strong hold during the entire tale.... [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]
447 words (1.3 pages)
- Fate Webster defines fate as a “ a power thought to control all events and impossible to resist” “a persons destiny.” This would imply that fate has an over whelming power over the mind. This thing called fate is able to control a person and that person has no ability to change it. Its been proven time and time again that the human mind can over come any obstacle. An asset to the mind is a persons will. With the combination of a person’s mind and their will to decide their own destiny this thing called fate can be over come.... [tags: Fate Destiny Essays]
442 words (1.3 pages)