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The Role Of Fate In Oedipus Rex

785 words - 4 pages

Fate plays a very important role in Oedipus Rex as it is clearly inescapable and is not subject to change by free will, or even the will of the Gods. We learn of the prophecy given to Laius and Jocasta that their son will kill his father and marry his mother. Upon the birth of Oedipus, Laius and Jocasta send for a shepherd to come and take him away to be killed so that the prophecy cannot be fulfilled. Throughout the story we are continually shown how various characters efforts to escape their fate lead to nothing but fulfillment of that exact fate; and that man cannot deny his sorrow and suffering by escaping the fate that provokes it.
King Laius and Queen Jocasta of Thebes learn of a ...view middle of the document...

Thinking he has escaped his fate of killing his father and marrying his mother he settles down with Jocasta and they have four children, sealing the fate set forth by the prophecy.
Throughout the story of Oedipus the king, various characters are trying to escape the fate set forth by the prophecy. No matter what actions are taken by these characters, fate still wins and the prophecy is fulfilled. King Laius and Queen Jocasta try to escape the fulfillment of the prophecy by having their new baby son killed by a shepherd. However the shepherd only hands him off to another shepherd; and that shepherd hands the child off to the King and Queen of Corinth. This leaves the anticipation that there is definitely still a possibility of the prophecy coming true. Even as an adult when Oedipus hears that Polybus and Merope are not his parents he does not believe it and sets out on a journey for the truth. This only leads him to the Oracle of Apollo where he learns about the prophecy involving patricide and an incestuous relationship with his mother. Oedipus still wholeheartedly believes at this point that Polybus and Merope are his...

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