This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Destiny, Fate, Free Will And Free Choice In Oedipus The King Driven By Fate

1116 words - 4 pages

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. 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 these arguments are based on are fundamentally flawed. In my opinion, fate does not exist. Yet, as this is a personal choice analogous to religious belief in the sense that there can be no definitive argument for or against, we cannot rationally conclude decisively either way. Yet if would be interesting to note that as this play is constructed along the lines of Aristotle's theory of tragedy, the way in which the play is constructed would try to convey the sentiment that fate was the overriding factor and thus could be a valid basis for the argument just outlined. But if we were to look at the play and interpret it according to our own value judgement system, then we could just as easily reject this premise. It all depends on how we would like to approach the play. And as there is no definitive, positive way of doing this, neither way can be said to be "right" or "wrong".

    The next solution that I outlined to this problem was the idea that it could be a amalgamation of both destiny and character. At first this would seem to be a complete paradox, but if we extrapolate upon these ideas it should become clear. After all, how can anyone's character have any consequence if destiny is at work? During Oedipus we see many...

Find Another Essay On Destiny, Fate, Free Will and Free Choice in Oedipus the King - Driven by Fate

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

3576 words - 14 pages 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

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

639 words - 3 pages no man happy till he dies, free of pain at last " (Sophacles p. 640). The people of Thebes could see the sadness in the downfall of Oedipus. Their leader had fallen, and although he could not forgive himself, the people sought out mercy for him. Bibliography Lucas, Gerald. Character V. Fate. BLOG http://litmuse.maconstate.edu/glucas/archives/000247.shtml Revermann, Martin. "Spatio-Temporal Dynamics in Sophacles' Oedipus the King." University of Toronto Quarterly`, Vol. 72 (Fall 2003): p.1-9. Sophacles. The Norton Anthology Of World Masterpieces. Ed. Sarah Lawall. W.W. Norton and Company. New York, London, 1999.

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

698 words - 3 pages Fate in Oedipus Rex   Sophocles' tragic tale of Oedipus presents the reader with a very bleak view of mankind and the world in general. According to the story, every person is predestined to enact a role scripted by fate, a "mysterious power" that rules even the greatest of Greek gods (Hamilton, 27). In this tale, the source of this fate is not as clear as its function.      The first of many allusions to fate in Oedipus the

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

1009 words - 4 pages The Power of Fate in Oedipus Rex (the King) The underlying theme in Oedipus Rex is that fate is more powerful than free will. On this strong basis of fate, free will doesn't even exist. This was a popular belief among the ancient Greeks.  Fate may be accepted or denied by modern society, but in Oedipus's story, fate proves inevitable. In the play, Oedipus Rex, the characters Oedipus, Iocaste and Laios try to change fate.   In the

Destiny, Fate, Free Will and Choice in Oedipus the King - Fate's Triumph

1486 words - 6 pages Destiny, Fate, Free Will and Choice in Oedipus the King - Fate's Triumph At the core of any tragedy there is a cruel change of fortune involved. This change of fortune is a key factor in man's demise and it can result in speculation that perhaps the gods plotted his ruin out of malice. To blame a higher power is the easy way to rationalize the downfall, but upon further investigation it becomes clear that it is actually man's attempt

Destiny, Fate, Free Will and Free Choice - Prophecies in Oedipus, Antigone, and Agamemnon

1044 words - 4 pages believed by Agamemnon because of a curse set on her by the Greek god Apollo.   Agamemnon is oblivious to her forecasts and believes he will live on and remain king. "So, overborne by you, I shall proceed / To tread the purple to my palace halls." Agamemnon infers that he will be able to safely return to power in his kingdom and is unaware of the treasonous plot calculated by his wife Clytemnestra and Aegisthus, Clytemnestra's lover

Fate against Free will in Oedipus the King by Sophocles

1589 words - 6 pages the abhorrent destiny of the main character is at the mercy of mischievous and cruel gods. However, upon examining all the tangible clues in the text, it becomes evident that Oedipus is himself a willing participant in his own doings. Therefore the King was not a victim of fate, as many scholars seem to believe, and that he was never completely controlled by it. In order to better understand this relationship between free will and cosmic order

Fate Versus Free Will in Oedipus the King by Sophocles

910 words - 4 pages Oedipus the King is play that tells of a renowned king and his struggle between free will and his alleged fate. Oedipus was prophesized to kill his father and marry his mother. After learning about the prophecy, Oedipus immediately takes action by leaving his hometown of Corinth and avoiding his supposed parents. In Oedipus the King, Sophocles shows that Oedipus' actions contribute to his downfall; it is his vain short temper, enormous pride

Oedipus the King, fate against free will

889 words - 4 pages The purpose of this essay is to demonstrate that the events in Oedipus the King, written by Sophocles, are the result of the hero’s free will existing within the fate, a terrifying destiny predicted for him by the oracle of Apollo at Delphi.
Both fate and free will played a very crucial part in Oedipus' downfall. It is important to understand that although he was a victim of fate to some extent, he was never completely controlled by it. In

Destiny, Fate, Free Will and Free Choice in Macbeth - Important Role of Fate

3177 words - 13 pages The Concept of Fate in Macbeth      Literary critics disagree over the amount of leverage which fate exerted on the Macbeths in the Shakespearean drama Macbeth. Fate was quite influential, but it did not impair their free will; they remained free moral agents who ambitiously and voluntarily surrendered themselves to the evil suggestions of fate.   Macbeth: "If Chance would have me king, why, Chance may crown me without my stir

Oedipus the King: Fate Vs Free Will

635 words - 3 pages Oedipus the King, was written by Sophocles between C.A.496-406B.C. In this play, Oedipus is a great example of Sophocles’ belief that fate will control a man’s life no matter how much free will exists. Oedipus is a man of unflagging determination and perseverance, but one who must learn through the working out of a terrible prophecy that there are forces beyond any man’s conceptualization or control. Oedipus’ actions were determined before his

Similar Essays

Destiny, Fate, Free Will And Free Choice In Oedipus The King The Fate Of Oedipus

1302 words - 5 pages 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

Destiny, Fate, Free Will And Free Choice In Oedipus The King Fate And The Modern World

985 words - 4 pages about his parents, he’s told that he’ll kill his father and marry his mother.  Oedipus doesn’t go back to Corinth and instead decides to go to Thebes where he thinks he would be able to escape his future.  By attempting to escape the will of the gods, Oedipus takes another step toward fulfilling his own very painful destiny.          At the beginning of “Oedipus King” the priest and the people of the city of Thebes come to Oedipus to request

Destiny, Fate, Free Will And Free Choice In Oedipus The King The Paradox Of Free Will

1315 words - 5 pages be thought as a direct consequence of his actions taken from free will. Oedipus is a hero.  Oedipus makes an unaided choice to follow his destiny, (A destiny that he imagined for himself) to become a man that has no fear and will pursue justice at any cost.  The choices made by Oedipus makes him a touching character and not merely a puppet of the gods.  This can be more clearly seen in the quote of Oedipus proclaiming his will to protect the

Destiny, Fate, Free Will And Free Choice In Oedipus The King Defining Fate

1015 words - 4 pages 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