The Concepts Of Fate And Free Will In Oedipus Rex

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Fate can be defined as something that is destined to happen and is beyond our control. Free will, on the other hand, is being able to act freely without being constrained by a predetermined fate. In Sophocles’ tragedy, Oedipus Rex, the concepts of fate and free will are very prominent throughout the play. In ancient Greece, fate was considered to be a reality outside of an individual that determined his or her life and represented an unstoppable force. The ancient Greeks believed in fatalism, which was the belief that our lives are controlled by more powerful beings, known as Gods. Both the concepts of fate and free will played a crucial part in Oedipus’ downfall. Oedipus was destined from birth to kill his father and marry his mother. This …show more content…
Oedipus’ desire to discover the truth about Laius’ murder and his own birth led him to the realization of his horrific deeds. Tiresias, Jocasta, and the shepherd all try to stop Oedipus from finding out the truth. After realizing that Oedipus’ prophecy had come true, Jocasta begs Oedipus to let the mystery of his birth go unsolved. On page 56, Jocasta says to Oedipus “For God’s love, let us have no more questioning! Is your life nothing to you? My own is pain enough for me to bear.” to which Oedipus replies “I will not listen; the truth must be made known.” (Sophocles 56-57). Oedipus’ persistent desire to uncover the truth about Laius’ murder and the mystery surrounding his own birth, led him to the tragic realization of his horrific …show more content…
Upon hearing the prophecy that told the future of their son Oedipus, they made a choice to send Oedipus to die at the mountain. Laius and Jocasta reacted out of fear, a fear of what might happen if they were to keep Oedipus. As a result, they removed Oedipus from their lives completely, thinking they were making the right decision, and not knowing that Oedipus would return. There are many questions to be asked about how Oedipus life and fate could have been different. For example, what if Jocasta and Laius never sent Oedipus to die? Would the prophecy still have happened? Even though it wasn’t their own choices to get rid of their son Oedipus, their reaction to the prophecy given to him led to the events that took place in the future. If Laius and Jocasta had never sent Oedipus to die, then maybe he would not have killed Laius, and consequently married his mother. Often times, running from one’s fate simply causes the prophesied fate to occur, for example, the story of the man heading to Samarra to escape

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