Oedipus’ Fate Essay

1150 words - 5 pages ✓ Expert Reviewed

Oedipus’ Fate
“Oedipus the King” demonstrates all the characteristics and qualities so it’s best to say that he is the perfect example of a Tragic Hero. The sequence of events in the play all resemble a tragedy and Oedipus is directly in the middle of it, confronting every obstacle and shows all the qualities of a hero as he searches for the truth behind the murder of King Laius. The story and the main protagonist, Oedipus features all the dramatizations and within himself a tragic flaw that ultimately led to his downfall. Oedipus’ actions set up his demise but it was fate that destroyed him.
Oedipus’ hamartia was well documented when he showed how determined he was to catch King Laius’ murderer even when he suspected it to be himself.(Grene, pg. 13) Only a hero would risk prosecuting himself in search for the truth. He was ultimately trying to clear his conscious, or to prove to himself that he in fact wasn’t the murderer even though all the clues said that he was. This reasoning could also be said to be his tragic flaw. His determination to find the murderer and clear his conscious is what led to his demise. After deciphering the Sphinx’s riddle he became arrogant, as if he was untouchable so it’s understandable that he would take such risks unnecessarily.
The catharsis in the play was when Oedipus finally had proof that he was King Laius’ murderer. He had finally come to terms with this, it was suspected throughout the play but there were so many unknown variables that the reader needed for it to be said in black and white. Oedipus murdered King Laius and unknowingly lived up to the prophecy he was born into. Even when the prophecy was told to him there wasn’t much he could do to change it, if anything at all. The Gods of greek mythology had a plan for him and there was no way to avoid it other than leaving the city, plague infested. Oedipus is a hero and a ruler, he wouldn’t let that happen and the Gods knew this. The prophecy became true because of the man he grew up to be and everyone knows how strong the God’s will is so he was ordered to be killed at birth. That order alone shows how strong fate is in this play.
His hubris after deciphering the Sphinx’s riddle started in the beginning of the play and didn’t disappear until after he gouged out his own eyes and is begging to be exiled for his misdeeds. (Grene, pgs. 21-24) It took realizing that he unknowingly killed his own father to humble this man. Oedipus’ pride was blinding him and made him ignore the prophet, who is a messenger of the Gods. He felt as if the prophet was disrespecting him by insinuating that Oedipus was the murderer of his father when in fact he was just telling Oedipus what the Gods showed him.(Grene, pg.7) He should have asked more questions like who his father was exactly, which would have cleared things up even sooner. If someone tells you that your father died of natural causes and someone else tells you that you would kill your father in the near future then...

Find Another Essay On Oedipus’ Fate

The Predestined Fate Of Oedipus the King

1052 words - 4 pages Predestined Fate of Oedipus      In ancient Greek society they believed that ones life is predestined and that ones fate is sealed. What is meant to occur will happen no matter what that person does. In "Oedipus Rex" Oedipus' fate is doomed from his birth because of the actions of his ancestors. Unlike Oedipus most people today don't believe in predestined fate. People can be all they want to be regardless...

Fate and Freewill in Oedipus the King

1149 words - 5 pages 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...

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...

Oedipus the King: A Victim of Fate

1391 words - 6 pages to their egos and perhaps believed their choices were in their hands rather than the hands of the gods and fate. Oedipus and Laius tried to prevent the prophecy that the oracle presented them with, and in doing so, they were fallowing through on Oedipus' pre-determined fate. For example Laius tries to rid his family of this destiny by sending young Oedipus off to be killed with one of his servants. However this servant did not fallow through with...

Fate and Ignorance in Oedipus Rex

2570 words - 10 pages that humanism is a belief that centers on man. "It is an attitude of mind that concentrates upon the activities of man rather than upon the supernatural world." (Shaw 136). Greek religion, on the other hand, stressed the importance of the gods. The Greeks believed that the gods controlled all, that fate was what moved life. This is where you find the strong conflict in the story, where Oedipus' beliefs are tested. Bernard Knox says, "The play...

Oedipus the King, fate against free will

856 words - 3 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...

Hamlet and Oedipus: Free Will versus Fate

999 words - 4 pages For ages, man has sought to be in command of his life. The common debate is whether we, as human beings, have free will or if a divine force, sometimes referred to as fate, determines our destiny. Though the two plays, Shakespeare’s Hamlet and Sophocles’s Oedipus were written in two different eras, these two ideas are common between them. Although Hamlet and Oedipus both strive to be in control of their lives, Oedipus refuses...

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...

"Oedipus, the King" and His Fate, by Sophocles

872 words - 3 pages Oedipus The King, by Sophocles, is a play about how Oedipus lives up his fate that he will kill his father and marry his mother, both of which are extremely bad in the Greek society, even though he thinks he is getting away from it. Despite the Greek notions of supreme power of the gods...

Oedipus Rex by Sophocles - Fate vs. Free Will

559 words - 2 pages The Greek tragedy Oedipus Rex, by Sophocles, was written to show the common people of Greece how powerful the gods are and that your fate is pre-determined and nothing you do can change that. According to some, all people are slaves to fate, especially the fate of Oedipus. He does this by showing how people in this story try to escape their fate and how it is...

Oedipus, the King: A Case of Inevitable Fate

1078 words - 4 pages Oedipus, the main character in “Oedipus, the King” has hamartia and frailty that lead to his downfall. Oedipus’s imperfect character traits: pride (hubris), stubbornness, and disrespect precipitate his tragic fate and demise. Oedipus, King of Thebes, is an imperfect protagonist in Sophocles’ “Oedipus, the King.” He is an imperfect human being who makes mistakes in his life. His mistakes, however, are very tragic and exceed what he deserves...

Similar Essays

Oedipus: Destiny and Fate Essay

1557 words - 6 pages luck, and that no matter what they do or how careful they are, whatever has to happen to them must happen. These proponents that emphasize that destiny is by fate may have gotten their belief from myth such as the story of Oedipus, which is a perfect illustration of how destiny is by fate. Just like most mythical stories, the characters in this story tried unsuccessfully to change fate to suit them. However, as you are about to see, fate cannot...

Oedipus: Destiny and Fate Essay

1452 words - 6 pages Oedipus: Destiny and FateAlthough 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...

Oedipus: Fate vs. Free will Essay

1287 words - 5 pages When establishing whether it was fate or free will that determined the outcome of Oedipus’ life we must take in to consideration each side. Some people can say that he brought all of his suffering on himself but then again some people can say that it was his destiny that bad things were to happen to him. First we will look at fate. The definition of fate is a force or power that predetermines events or an inevitable events predestined by...

The Unavoidable Fate Of Oedipus The King

1094 words - 4 pages In Sophocles' Oedipus the King, fate plays a blatant role in the downfall of Oedipus. Fate demonstrates time and time again in the play that it is unavoidable and will always overrule any attempt to change one's destiny. Knowing Oedipus' fate also proves to be more of a hindrance than a blessing since he wasn't able to alter what was in store for him...