Fate And Free Will In Oedipus The King

1185 Words 5 Pages
Fate is a prominent and critical theme in Oedipus the King. Greeks in antiquity were interested in the ideology of fate; predestined events that one has no control over – every aspect of one’s life had been based on fate. Oedipus defied the Gods, he acted according to his thirst for knowledge, claiming all of his gestures and feats were accomplished due to his own abilities. This is exemplified by him solving the Sphinx’s riddle himself. Oedipus’s actions are symbolic of a man who has free will since he acts impulsively to discover his identity. This paper shall argue that Oedipus is blind to his fate, yet gradually gains clarity and vision of his destiny.
Throughout the play, numerous characters attempt to dissuade Oedipus’s blind pursuit for truth and answers. Oedipus embarked on a quest not only to discover his beginnings, but to uncover the prophecy that he will kill his father and marry his mother. His thirst for knowledge propagates this urge by demonstrating stubbornness. Characters such as Tiresias, Creon, and Jocasta all attempt to halt his progress, each character carrying information of Oedipus’s beginnings. Each time Oedipus comes closer to the truth
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He is blinded by his personality, stubbornly acting unaware of the consequences of his actions. Characters attempt to halt his progression, yet he persists. Angrily if any oppose his quest for truth. Gradually he discards his stubbornness, and gains clarity and knowledge of his prophesized fate. In order to know the truth of his beginnings, he must abandon his belief of free will and submit to the notion of fate. Oedipus is cautious in disbelieving the prophecy, thus runs and ignores the signs, yet upon thinking rationally, he gains the insight of the incestuous truth, and accepts his fate. Therefore, the prophecy consists of both his actions of free will and the subtle revelation of

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