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 force. I believe that Oedipus’ fate in life was sealed for him to be exiled and alone in the end before he was even born. His father, Laius was told that he “was fated to die by the hand of his son to be born to him…as for the son – three days after his birth … Laius had him cast away on the pathless mountains”. Laius’ descendants were cursed because of his actions to another. Laius did not believe he had a son or living child to carry out this telling. So he went about his life without worry believing that the one child he had brought into this world was gone. Oedipus was this unknown child that did not know he was that child either. He believed he was that of another. Forces were at work without any control.
Oedipus’ questioning of the Delphic Oracle as to whom was his biological parents after hearing rumors that the ones that raised him were not his parents lead to him being involved in the foretold fate of his biological father, Laius. He was informed of his destiny to mate with his own mother and shed with his own hands the blood of his own sire. To avoid this foretelling of killing his father and mating with his mother Oedipus attempted to move away although he still did not know that Merope was not his biological mother and Polybus was not his biological father. While Oedipus was on the way to his new location he ran head long into the very thing that lead to the prophecy occurring and being partially fulfilled. It was a foretelling of the future that the Greeks all believed the gods had set for their life paths.
When Creon and Tiresias reported to Oedipus that the land of Thebes could only be cleaned of its plague was by finding the one that had killed their king, Lauis, it sealed his fate. Oedipus was so oblivious. He had two opportunities to stop the outcome of the prophecies when all the signs that he killed Laius were right there in front of him. Even as people were telling him all that had happened to Laius, he refused to believe that he could have been the one to do such a thing. No one could state that Oedipus had committed the crime of killing Lauis because he believed they were plotting against him or attempting to take over the kingdom. No one could tell “the world famous Oedipus (6)” anything, what he said goes without thought or question. His brain was telling him what his heart did not want to believe. He had left his childhood home to live among others. He believed he had left his parents behind and his “father” died of natural causes while he was away...

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