The Tragedy Of Fate In Oedipus The King By Sophocles

1780 Words 8 Pages
Are people truly responsible for their actions? This controversy has puzzled humanity throughout the ages. Over the course of history people have pondered about the legitimacy regarding the influence of divine power over the magnitude of how much freewill we truly have in making moral decisions. The ancient Greeks acknowledged the role of fate as a reality that was transcendent, shaping and determining our human lives. They perceived fate to be the will of the gods - an unstoppable reality that no mortal could change. The play Oedipus the King by Sophocles, is a Greek tragedy that explores the irony of fate. The plot revolves around Oedipus, the tragic hero of the play, who is subject to both fate and free fill, illustrating that while man …show more content…
This ties in with his own aspect of freewill because his freewill is based on his drive for knowledge. Despite the fact that Oedipus was a victim of fate itself, he was not controlled by it. From the start of this tragedy, Oedipus pushes Tiresias, Creon, Jocasta, the oracle, and the shepherd for information regarding his origins. Furthermore, each of these characters mentioned, in some manner, refuses to give Oedipus a thorough and satisfying answer for this information he seeks. For example, in the conversation between Oedipus and Tiresias in the first episode Tiresias says: “I’d rather not cause pain for you or me./ So why this . . . useless interrogation?/ You’ll get nothing from me. (Sophocles 378 – 380)”, and Oedipus responds with: “Nothing! You,/ you scum of the earth, you’d enrage a heart of stone!/ You won’t talk? Nothing moves you?/ Out with it, once and for all! (Sophocles 380 – 383)”. This shows the persistence Oedipus procures during the everlasting journey towards the truth, and the frustration Oedipus faces when he is refused a direct answer. Throughout the play, Oedipus gets closer and closer to finally finding the truth behind his birth, yet each time he inches closer towards the truth, one of these characters steps in interrupts his journey to the truth. His …show more content…
Man was free to choose and was ultimately held responsible for his own actions. Oedipus’ pride plays a monumental role in the ultimate down fall of Oedipus. Despite the fact that Oedipus was a victim of fate itself, he was not controlled by it. Oedipus was destined at birth to murder his father and wed is mother. This prophecy from the Oracle of Delphi was inevitable and it would come to pass, despite any effort Oedipus put forward to avoid such a tragic fate. Therefore, his actions leading up to this destiny was unconditional and was predetermined by his fate. However, the actions he undertook in Thebes were done of his own accord and he was fully responsible for them. At the beginning of the play, Oedipus is looked upon to be a ruler who is true to himself and his people, doing what needs to be done to protect it. Being prideful, Oedipus doesn’t wait for the plague to end by itself, but believes he can fix it. As a result, he sends his brother-in-law, Creon, to the oracle of Delphi to seek the answer to their problems. After hearing from the divine words of the god Apollo, Oedipus isn’t humbled enough to go about this murder calmly and find the murderer rationally. Instead in his haste to maintain his pride and powerful/worthy position as king, he curses the murder through the powers of all the

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