Examples Of Fate And Free Will In Oedipus

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Fate versus free will is a common theme in Greek tragedies. In many cases a person who tries to avert their predestined fate will set the pieces in motion that will inevitably lead to that fate. Laius and Jocasta from Oedipus are examples of this. On the other hand, you have characters like Prometheus and Zeus, who knowingly put their own fates into motion.
In Prometheus Bound Zeus has ordered Hephaestus to bind the titan Prometheus to a rock as punishment for Prometheus giving fire and knowledge to mankind. While Prometheus is bound many of the gods and goddesses, including Zeus go to him in order to learn their futures. Prometheus tells Zeus that Zeus’ son will destroy him. Upon hearing this Zeus strikes Prometheus with a thunderbolt hurtling
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Jocasta and Laius, who was of the house of Labdacus and was cursed by the gods for his abduction and rape of Chrysippus the son of Pelops. Were told upon Oedipus birth that he would kill his father and marry his mother. In order to prevent this from happening they had the infant exposed. Oedipus is rescued and raised by the king and queen of Corinth. He is told by the oracle that he will kill his father and marry his mother. This causes him to leave town in order to avoid this fate and in doing so he inadvertently puts his fate in motion, when he unknowingly killed his father Laius. While one can argue that Oedipus made the choice to go to Delphi and speak to the oracle, he chose to listen to the man in regards to his parents not being his bio-parents, he then chose to leave, he also chose to answer the sphinx riddle and accept Laius widow as his bride and finally he chose to investigate the murder of King Laius that he is responsible for his fate. I disagree with this, because even though he is responsible for his actions, he has no idea the course his actions will take. This is different from Prometheus who acts in defiance of Zeus and knows that there will be consequences. Oedipus has no idea the consequences of his actions, in fact he continually tries to do the …show more content…
The house of Atreus was also cursed to such a fate when Tantalus served his son Pelops to the Olympian god. In the Oresteia Aeschylus tells the story of Tantalus descendent Agamemnon. Agamemnon sacrificed his daughter Iphigenia "What can I say? Disaster follows if I disobey; surely yet worse disaster if I yield and slaughter my own child, my home 's delight, in her young innocence, and stain my hand with blasphemous unnatural cruelty, bathe in the blood I fathered! Either way, Ruin!" (Aeschylus: Agamemnon, 813-814). This shows that he knew that there were going to be repercussions for his decision. He made the choice anyway in order to obtain calm seas in which he and his men could travel safety to Troy. This was a case of being wrong either way. Had he not made the sacrifice his men would have died during the trip, and if he decided not to go to Troy aa countless number of Greeks may have lost their lives. When he returned ten years later with his trophy of war Cassandra, his wife Clytemnestra angry over Iphigenia’s death an d in love with Aegisthus, whose is Agamemnon’s cousin and is also responsible for killing his father Atreus. She kills both Agamemnon and Cassandra. After learning of his father Agamemnon’s death from his sister Electra. Orestes kills Clytemnestra and Aegisthus. This is the moment that fate and free will come

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