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

Oedipus, The King: A Case Of Inevitable Fate

1042 words - 5 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. He is ignorant about his true identity and does not accept his gods’ prophecy for him. He tries to avoid his gods’ horrendous fate in his life and causes blasphemy, patricide, and incest unintentionally and unknowingly. His first mistake is to try to ignore the rumors his adopted parents are not his real parents. He runs away from Corinth to avoid his prophesied destiny believing his foster parents are safe away from him. As fate has it, he unknowingly kills his real father at a crossroad due to his bad temper, rash anger, and self defense. Unfortunately, he fulfills his birth prophesy, The Oracle of Delphi: “To his beloved children, he’ll be shown / a father who is also brother; to the one / who bore him, son and husband; to his father / his seed-fellow and killer” (lines 462-465)
Oedipus, by his hasty actions, and decisions commits terrible sins: kills his father, commits incest, and disobeys the gods. His fate continues his path as he becomes king of Thebes. He deciphers the monstrous Sphinx’s riddle by correctly answering: It is man, who crawls as a baby, walks in his adulthood, and uses a cane at an old age. He gains power over the people of Thebes. He considers himself powerful and mighty above all. He demonstrates his true hubris and ego character in line 8: “I, Oedipus, a name that all men know.” He is king of Thebes. Its people are suffering a deadly and contagious plague brought to the city because of the king’s sin. He calls out for the cause that brought the plague. He, as the king, investigates the cause of the plague. Tiresias, the god’s blind prophet, has the answer to the plague: “for you are the vile polluter of this land!” (358). Tiresias tells him the truth after Oedipus angrily insisted and threatened him several times. Tiresias could not keep the secret any longer. He becomes angry and tells Oedipus; he is his father Laius and former Thebes’ king killer. He is definitely, the cause for the plague in Thebes.
Oedipus attitude of stubbornness to get the truth out, although, his wife/mother tried to stop him not to discover the truth for it will cause his downfall. He does not listen to her advice due to his pride. Jocasta finds the tragic truth and foretells Oedipus her death: “Man of misery! / No other name / shall I address you by, ever again” (lines 1077-1078). Oedipus is obsessed to know the whole truth about why he is the cause of the plague. He seeks further evidence. He is disrespectful and stubborn to the old herdsman, who was supposed to have killed him to...

Find Another Essay On Oedipus, the King: A Case of Inevitable Fate

Our Decisions and a Predetermined Fate: Oedipus the King

814 words - 3 pages the King, demonstrates this because no matter how far Oedipus chooses to run he was still victimized by fate. When Oedipus was born, Jocasta and Laius heard a prophecy that their son would murder his father and sleep with his mother. They quickly sought to get rid of their newborn and, through the paths of a few messengers; he was given to the king and queen of Corinth. When Oedipus was growing up, he saw an oracle who told him of the very same

The Role of Fate in Oedipus the King

848 words - 4 pages Fate is the development of events beyond a person's control, determined by a supernatural power. There is always an extensive argument on whether or not a person has a say in their destiny or if each and every event occurs as a result of fate. This is a subject that is touched upon numerous times in Sophocles’ drama. In Sophocles’ drama Oedipus the King, Oedipus tries to escape his destiny instead fate brings him closer towards it. To begin

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, 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

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

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

639 words - 3 pages The Role of Fate in Oedipus the King In Oedipus the King, one can easily see the tragedy that comes when Oedipus lives out fate, although not of his own intentions. Oedipus did everything in his own power in order to keep the prophecies from being fulfilled. One might even say that Oedipus ran from fate. Webster defines tragedy as "a medieval narrative poem or tale typically describing the downfall of a great man". Oedipus the King is

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

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

698 words - 3 pages the influence of fate, yet there is no evidence in Oedipus the King that human action evokes divine consequence, as is seen in the Hebrew Bible.  Adam and Eve are expelled from the Garden of Eden because they disobey God's explicit command; Noah is saved from destruction because he follows God's directions.  Oedipus, in contrast, is punished because he does right:  he flees Corinth as a young man and lives in self-imposed exile to save his

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

1315 words - 5 pages .  Even though Oedipus has the free will to set his path in life, he is a victim of fate.  The quote below shows the above idea Oedipus is proclaiming his duty to solve the murder of King Laios unaware that the evidence would point to him.  Could I track down the murderer without a clue?  But now, friends. As one who became a citizen after the murder, I make this proclamation to all Thebans:  If any man knows by whose hand Laios, son of

The Role of Irony and Fate in Oedipus The King by Sophocles

2679 words - 11 pages , Oracles, and Predestination Oedipus the King raises one big question, can a person escape their fate? With the use of irony, foreknowledge, and expectations, it seems that running away from one’s fate ultimately ensures that they are running towards it. In the background of the play it talks about when Laius and Jocasta go to an oracle and are told about a prophecy if they have a son. This prophecy consisted of their son killing his father, Laius

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

Similar Essays

Oedipus The King: A Victim Of Fate

1391 words - 6 pages tries to problem solve the situation and take the fate into his own hands; however, his attempts continue to push him into his fate. The power to avoid such a fate is out of human's hands and most certainly out of the Athenian's hands. In this case free will did not exist because the fate of these characters lay in the hands of the gods. Oedipus' innocence was proclaimed by his continuous attempts to change his fate, which after all could not be changed.

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 regardless of the extreme measures that were taken to escape his ill fortune. The gods are

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

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