The Role of Fate in Oedipus Rex Essay

The Role of Fate in Oedipus Rex Essay

Length: 809 words (2.3 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In Oedipus Rex, fate is something that unavoidably befalls two characters. The gods decide Oedipus and Jocasta’s fate even before they know it. Trying to avoid destiny is pointless because no matter what, it will catch up to you where ever you are. It is often thought that you can change your destiny, but in reality our fate was put into action the day we were born.
Throughout the play, Oedipus tries to change his fate. When he confirms through two messengers and an oracle that he is destined to marry his mother and kill his father, he completely panics. He knows that is something he definitely wants to avoid, so he decided he would attempt to change his fate. But at that time, he did not realize that your fate is your fate and it will not change.
When Oedipus realizes what his future holds he decides to avoid it at all costs. As a result, he picked up and ran away. He decided not to tell his parents he was leaving so that he could avoid hurting their feelings. When he was on his journey to Thebes there were people coming towards him and they got in an upset about who had the right of way where three roads crossed. He ended up killing all but one of the men there. This is where Sophocles proves that you can never run from your fate. Even Jocasta accounts for this happening, “That it was fate that he should die a victim at the hands of his own son, a son to be born to Laius and me. But now, he the king was killed by a foreign highway robber at the place were three roads meet-so goes the story” (1.1.791-796). The man he killed in that street was actually his dad.
What Oedipus did not know, was that the people he thought where his parents and ran away from, were just his adoptive parents. So if he had not have...


... middle of paper ...


...s you wonder if Jocasta and Oedipus had not run from their fate, what other way Sophocles would have made it happen. Also, just when the characters think they have nothing to worry about, just when they think they avoided their fate, it comes back to bite them. Sophocles makes it interesting in this way. This approach definitely keeps the reader interested because we wonder what other way he will use this writing technique in his play.
I think that if Oedipus and Jocasta had never of know of their fate it still would have come true. The gods would have just figured out another way for everything to happen the way it did. When the gods want something, they get it. Although we will never be able to know for sure if our fate is set in stone or not we know for sure that in Oedipus Rex the characters fate were all set in stone, whether for the good or for the bad.

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Essay on The Role of Fate in Oedipus Rex

- Fate plays a very important role in Oedipus Rex as it is clearly inescapable and is not subject to change by free will, or even the will of the Gods. We learn of the prophecy given to Laius and Jocasta that their son will kill his father and marry his mother. Upon the birth of Oedipus, Laius and Jocasta send for a shepherd to come and take him away to be killed so that the prophecy cannot be fulfilled. Throughout the story we are continually shown how various characters efforts to escape their fate lead to nothing but fulfillment of that exact fate; and that man cannot deny his sorrow and suffering by escaping the fate that provokes it....   [tags: Prophecy, Actions, Characters]

Better Essays
609 words (1.7 pages)

The Role of Fate in Oedipus the King Essay example

- Fate played an important part in the plays and literature of the Greeks as is shown in Sophocles' play Oedipus Rex Sophocles lived during the Golden Age of Greece. He is renowned as one of the greatest dramaticist of western literature. He was a greek through and through as he held important political positions, and he even served as the priest of the haling diety Amynos. During his life tragedies were popular plays of the greeks, and Sophocles noted for his writing abilites of the time, made one such play about tragedy....   [tags: Oedipus Rex, Sophocles]

Better Essays
1064 words (3 pages)

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

- The Role of Fate in Oedipus the King In Oedipus the King, one can easily see the tragedy that comes when Oedipus lives out fate, although not of his own intentions. Oedipus did everything in his own power in order to keep the prophecies from being fulfilled. One might even say that Oedipus ran from fate. Webster defines tragedy as "a medieval narrative poem or tale typically describing the downfall of a great man". Oedipus the King is certainly a tragedy, and as Dr. Lucas states in his blog, Character V....   [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]

Better Essays
647 words (1.8 pages)

Essay on Fate and Freewill in Oedipus the King

- In the play Oedipus Rex, it shows many different forms of fate and freewill. Fate is a word that can be defined in many different ways. Fate can affect a person's life in many different ways. Oedipus's fate ruined his life and lead him to a horrible death. Antigone's life was also thrown out to the hand of fate. Neither one of them had any freewill in there lifetime, all of there lives were based upon the fate that the gods handed to them. Both of these elements, fate and freewill, play a large role in the telling of the story of Oedipus Rex....   [tags: Oedipus Rex, Sophocles]

Better Essays
817 words (2.3 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)

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

- Fate in Oedipus Rex Do you think that fate controls the lives of everyday people, or do you think someone's actions control their lives?  In the play, Oedipus Rex, fate played an important role in the lives of the characters. .  In order to avoid their predestined fate, the main characters took every precaution to avoid their predetermined destinies.  The queen, Iocasta, and her son, Oedipus, both tried to escape what Teriresias, the oracle, told them, however, it would eventually come back to haunt them.  [Fate controlled the lives of the characters in this play...] NEW THESIS             When queen Iocasta found that she and king Laius were to have child, she went to consult an oracl...   [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]

Free Essays
752 words (2.1 pages)

The Role of Teiresias in Sophocles' Oedipus Rex Essay

- The Role of Teiresias in Sophocles'Oedipus Rex (the King) Teiresias uses his psychic abilities to foreshadow the anguish and destruction that Oedipus will encounter after he learns the truths of his life. Teiresias is also responsible for further developing the theme of blindness by using his own physical blindness to reveal to Oedipus his mental blindness. Lastly, Teiresias is ultimately responsible for imposing dramatic irony because of his great knowledge of the truth of Oedipus. In the play, Oedipus Rex, by Sophocles, the minor character of Teiresias is responsible for foreshadowing Oedipus’ fate, developing the theme of blindness, and also illustrating dramatic irony....   [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]

Better Essays
1417 words (4 pages)

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

- The Role of Fate in Oedipus Rex 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....   [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]

Better Essays
1115 words (3.2 pages)

Oedipus Rex as Social Commentary Essay

- Oedipus Rex as Social Commentary Oedipus Rex, written by the Poet Sophocles in the Golden Age of Greek Theatre, was described by Aristotle to be the greatest tragedy of all time. It encapsulates the very essence of the Greek cultural milieu, and it is these ideologies which are translated into the play. The very essence of Greek society; the political democracy, a moral belief in the power of the Gods and social recognition of hierarchy, are portrayed when the society is pictured in a state of chaos....   [tags: Oedipus the King Oedipus Rex]

Better Essays
880 words (2.5 pages)