Oedipus The King Comparison To Hamlet

1913 words - 8 pages

The two most controversial situations in a person’s life are fate and free will, the determinants of why things happen the way they do (Hamilton 12). Whether or not what people go through is a result of fate or choice is a thing, which requires adequate deliberation. Fate describes a situation in which someone believe the idea that his or her future is already planned, even though they do not know what is going to happen to them. This, therefore implies that the individual will do a lot of things, but in the end, what happens to him or her is something previously outlined by forces of unknown nature. For instance, individuals who live unhappy lives may assume and believe that their misery is a result of their fate, and that they can do nothing about it. This is further referred to as fatalistic situation. Nonetheless, other people believe they have control over their fates by being brave, while improving their lives, as well. Free will, on the other hand, is the ability of a person to make choices without facing any form of constraints. It presents a situation in which people have every right to judge someone’s action since the doer is always in a position to control what he or she does. This principle of free will comes with religious, ethical, legal and scientific implications (Hamilton 44). From this perspective, it is evident that Oedipus faces experiences caused by fate, and has completely no control over the things happening in his life. He lives at a time when a prophet’s words mean a lot for a person, and all these affect his life in one way or the other. Hamlet, on the other hand, faces experiences duly caused by free will. He is in complete control of his actions, and has targets to achieve from everything he does.
To begin with, Oedipus’ life comes with various experiences, which are ideally a result of fate. With fate it means that Oedipus goes through situations he has control over, and these life-events later define the person he ends up in future. The future is clearly predefined, in this case, and the prophet’s words are clear evidence to this claim. Most of the things in his life are predetermined, and he lives for only the moments in which he does not know anything. A typical event in Oedipus’ life happens when a plague strikes Thebes. The citizens gather outside his palace asking him to take action (Sophocles 864). At this point, it is evident that he has no control over the plague, and he too is a victim of these circumstances. As it turns out, the plague is a result of past events, which happened long before Oedipus became who he currently is. Furthermore, the plague will not end until the King can find and execute whoever killed the former king of Thebes, Laius. This is the beginning of trouble in Oedipus’ life, and the subsequent events are a result of what he does to salvage the current situation. Fate has it that Oedipus will face certain things in life, over which he has no control. The prophet whom he summons comes...

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