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Sophocles' Oedipus The King Essay

1256 words - 6 pages

Fate is the power that controls all of mankind. There is no way to escape the events that are predetermined for man; there is no such thing as free will. Every decision one makes is not their own choosing, but rather an inescapable course of actions foreseen and determined by a higher power. Sometimes prophets or oracles can show the Destiny of others, such as the oracle of Delphi who speaks the words of Apollo the God of Light and Sun. This exact oracle revealed the prophecy of a man by the name of Oedipus, he is smart, he is heroic, but more than any trait he is cursed. Oedipus learned that he shall murder his father and one day marry his mother who in turn will give birth to his children. That is exactly what happened: he ran away from his adopted parents, killed his true father and won his mother’s hand in marriage by defeating the Sphinx. But in the end, Oedipus had no idea he ruined his family, and once he saw the truth, he cut out his own eyes and exiled himself from Thebes. Since the beginning of time the Immortals of Greece have anticipated the birth of Oedipus; throughout his entire life: birth, teenage years, and adulthood the Gods have known his Destiny and they forced him to fulfill his painful prophecy.
In fact, the Men and Women of Olympus, Greek Gods as they are often called, chose Oedipus’ Destiny since his very first breath. Oedipus’ prophecy, originally, had been told to his father, who in turn took every precaution to stop it. This can be demonstrated by Laius’ actions from Jocasta—Laius’s wife—’s point of view:
An oracle came to Laius one fine day
(I won’t say from Apollo himself
but his underlings, his priests) and it said
that doom would strike him down at the hands of a son,
our son, to be born of our own flesh and blood. But Laius,
so the report goes at least, was killed by strangers,
thieves, at a place where three roads meet . . . my son—
he wasn’t three days old and the boy’s father
fastened his ankles, had a henchmen fling him away
on a barren, trackless mountain (lines 784-793).
Although Oedipus’ Father had taken many steps to insure his son’s death, he still survived and later became adopted, ”My father was Polybus of Corinth. / My mother, a Dorian, Merope. And I was held / the prince of the realm among the people there,” (852-854). Unbeknown to Oedipus, he was raised by another set of parents the next town over, after being found alone; left for dead in the wild. The previous quotes demonstrate how the Gods of Greece chose Oedipus’ life course for him since birth. Oedipus’ father’s failed intentions and his adoption were the master plan all along, because the Gods have forced the events of Oedipus’ life.
What is more, The Gods could not stop the foretold prophecy once started; so in his teenage years Oedipus continued to encounter pain and struggle. As fate would have it, the day someone accused Oedipus of being adopted, would be the same day his prophecy would be set in motion. Oedipus...

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