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Oedipus Paper: Fate Vs Free Will Class 40 Essay

738 words - 3 pages

In this paper, I will be explaining how the question of fate and free will in human life is of great importance in the play Oedipus the King, and how the main antagonist of the play is fate itself. Free choices, such as Oedipus’s decision to pursue knowledge of his identity are of great importance throughout the play, yet also fate is responsible for Oedipus’s abandonment and for his intimate relationship with his mother. By the end of the play, the writer Sophocles makes his statement pretty clear, characters aren’t fully responsible for their actions and events taking place at the time.
In the play Oedipus the King we are presented to Oedipus, the son of King Laius of Thebes, yet Oedipus never knew who his parents really were. This was all due to a prophecy that was told to King Laius by the Oracle of Delphi, a prophecy that would bring death to King Laius and the murderer would be his own son. Not only that, but the Oracle also prophesied that the King’s son would sleep with Laius’s wife, Jocasta. Years later, Oedipus, goes to the Oracle of Delphi and learns about about the terrible prophecy, he tries running away from such horrible prophecy and becomes King of Thebes, marrying Jocasta. Year later, a terrible curse falls upon Thebes and Oedipus is served up to the task of solving it and bringing peace back to the city. Unfortunately, Oedipus learns of his fate and how the prophecy he had tried running away from had already become true. This brief summary of the play demonstrates how fate plays a major factor when it comes to Oedipus’s becoming king of Thebes and marrying Jocasta, his own mother. Both Oedipus and Jocasta’s fate were set since the day they were born, trying to avoid fate and the prophecy was pointless. Stubborn Oedipus tried changing his fate either way, trying to avoid marrying his mother and killing his father, but because of his parents’ actions in trying to get him killed; his entire knowledge of who his parents were is incorrect. Once again, Oedipus trying to change his fate was pointless, due to him being clueless on his true...

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