Oedipus Free Will Analysis

Fate: Discussing the Extent and Purpose of Free Will in Oedipus
One of the most multisided philosophical debates can be sparked simply by asking "Are we free?" It's a question that we've been grappling for thousands of years. Sophocles uses Oedipus to ask questions about fate, free will, and how they can possibly exist together. In ancient Greek, the word for fate was Moira, defined by Homer as an impersonal power and sometimes makes its functions interchangeable with those of the Olympian gods. Oedipus is a character quite clearly plagued by this Moira, for he had no choice in whether to commit patricide and incest— it happened without his realization. From this, we don’t judge Oedipus in quite the same way as we would for an event under
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It is his pride that overwhelms him in deciding to kill Laos and all but one of his fellow travelers and it is pride that caused him to try to reject the truths he received from Teiresias. Further, Oedipus' pride isn't wrongly boastful. The declaration "I am Oedipus" isn't coming from a place that intends to play up his heroism. Instead, it's a claim that he understands what it is that he is done. Oedipus is a man of greatness, and his own understanding of that fact doesn't inherently mean that he is being pompous. However, it is apparent at other points in the play that he is prideful. Take, for example, the killing of his father. At the time, Oedipus couldn't have known he was killing his father and the king of Thebes, but he let his pride make his decisions. Oedipus didn’t need to kill Laos, but he simply because he was irritated by being goaded. Oedipus' contradictory behaviors further open the discussion about the extent of Oedipus' free will. Oedipus acts unwisely, in a manner that sets reason aside and lets his silly pride prevail. However, it would be very unlike Oedipus to act any differently than he had because, again, Oedipus only knows what he knows. He was young and most likely flustered from the events prior to him killing his own father. To what extent does Oedipus deserve blame? His pride undoubtedly defined what being Oedipus means, though his heroic actions can be partially to blame for his understanding of his capabilities and ultimately,

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