Oedipus’ tragedy as a result of his freely made decisions Are people truly responsible for their actions or they are just puppets in hand of Gods or people and executors of the fate that is pre-recorded? The question of determinism towards free will has occupied humankind almost over the centuries. Usually fate is defined as something that unavoidably befalls the individuals and influence their decisions and actions. In ancient Greece the religion played important role in everyday-life of the Greeks. The concept of fate had the prominent place in the Greek religion.
So by suffering, Oedipus still feels like a King fulfilling his duty. Thomas Gould author of The Innocence of Oedipus: The Philosophers on Oedipus the King, Part III, discusses the idea of whether Oedipus has control over his fate or not. Gould states, “Oedupus’ intentions were good, but the results of his actions were bad; and the explanation for this is that he did not have certain important pieces of information” (Gould 32). In the end, when Oedipus learns he is Laius killer, he must make the ultimate sacrifice for his crimes. The truth was right in front of him all along but he either ignored it or refused to accept it because it was not all together at once.
The conversation of fate vs. free will comes up a lot. Especially in Oedipus Rex. This whole story is based on controversial theories on this topic. This story has a bunch of different situation in which this theory can come up. However, what this story does not clearly state can be found in between the lines. Fate and free will co-exist with each other in life and in the story.
Oedipus was not perfect, but had numerous tragic flaws. He made an error of judgement, combined with fate then brought on a tragedy . Oedipus tragic flaw was tragedy that was destined for downfall. A tragic hero must be an important or influential man who commits a fault, and who must then accept the consequences of his actions. Oedipus learns a lesson from his temper, his tragic flaw, and became an example to the audience of what happens when great men fall from their high social position.
1. Aristotle once stated, “a man doesn’t become a hero until he can see the root of his own downfall (bisd303.org).” Oedipus epitomizes a true tragic hero in both his past and his actions, although he did not have any control regarding his fate. He had excessive pride and self-righteousness; he dares to compare himself to the gods in saying “you pray to the gods? Let me grant your prayers (33).”
Imagine being told your future fate without knowing if it’s true, when it will happen, or even if you can prevent it. One king, Oedipus, in particular, was living that very reality. His fate was uncovered early on by a prophecy, so he lived life trying to run from that fate. Yet, he unknowingly lived that very life later on. He led a life of incest, committed a heinous crime, and was burdened with suffering after the acts were revealed. Oedipus’ past led to him to a destructive fate.
Fate or free will? Paulo Coelho once said: “I can control my destiny, but not my fate. Destiny means there are opportunities to turn right or left, but fate is a one-way street. I believe we all have the choice as to whether we fulfill our destiny, but our fate is sealed.” According to oxford dictionary, fate is the development of events outside a person’s control, regarded as predetermined by a super natural power.
When he explains what happens he claims that “As I was on the move, I passed close by a spot where three roads meet, and in that place I met a herald and a horse-drawn carriage, with a man inside, just as you described. The guide tried to force me off the road-and the old man, too, got personally involved. In my rage, I lashed out at the driver, who was shoving me aside” (Lines 962-970). This associated with Oedipus’ rash behavior by lashing out on these men and killing them all when they were completely harmless towards him. They way
His extreme desire to uncover the truth about himself is what slowly caused his destruction. Oedipus in a way makes fun Tiresias being physically unable to harm anyone due to his lack of sight. He refers to Creon as being the one who put Teiresias up to this. Teiresias quickly responds “Creon is no hurt to you, but you are yourself”. Implying that the only one doing the harm to Oedipus is himself.
Oedipus the King, translated by Thomas Gould, is a very interesting and complex story. Throughout this mythical story of incest and patricide, Oedipus tries to find and expose the killer of King Laius. Little does Oedipus know, it was he who killed the former king of Thebes.
Killing Laius and his men is an overreaction to his anger. This violent outburst shows that he has no self control and he does not show any remorse for what he has done. He also looses his temper with Tiresias when he is trying to explain the oracle to him. It is because of his anger that the oracle becomes true and in the end he looses everything good around him including his children and his sight. Oedipus constantly pushes people away that are only trying to help him, as if accepting help makes him seem
Thematic Essay Almost all humans believe in either two things: there is an exact set plan for everyone or that they decide exactly what they do with their lives. Many people swear by the fact of fate, others just think it to be a myth, some think they can take whatever path in life they want, and some believe in the aspect of fate and believe they can escape it. Oedipus and his parents from Sophocles, Oedipus the King, are not any different from many humans in that they try to escape fate. When Oedipus is born, his parents send him away to be killed trying to escape their fate; the prophecy they were given.
Oedipus’s selfishness and temper eventually lead to his downfall. Oedipus selfishness made everyone else mad at him for him not believing them. He kept digging and digging himself into a deeper hole. This eventually made his punishment at the end worse for him. He also could not handle the truth so this made him disrespect the gods.
Introduction The story of Oedipus the king is gloomy, yet captivating. Going from a child bond around the feet and abandon by the mountainside, to marrying his mother, his story is intriguing. In search of the truth about the prophecy and putting an end to a plague Oedipus, search for king Laius’s killer, did somethings inadvertently, making him a tragic hero. His search for truth in the death of Laius the king, as well as his birth led to the ultimate destruction and downfall of his life.