Oedipus Fate Vs Free Will Essay

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The ancient Greek people believed in many deities and believed that these gods could see into the future. They believed that only specific people called “seers,” had access to this information. Oracles could also interpret these messages from the gods. Oracles were a common part of Greek life, being consulted by kings and commonfolk for their knowledge (LitCharts). Knowing their fate can sometimes blind people and cause them to try to avoid the fate. In the cause of Oedipus, Antigone’s father, his father learned that Oedipus was to kill him and marry his wife, Oedipus’ own mother, so he tried to avoid that fate by banishing Oedipus. He unknowingly put into play the events that led up to Oedipus killing him and marrying his wife. When Oedipus found out, he gouged out his eyes and prophesied that his own sons would kill each other in battle. This event ultimately comes to pass (Oedipus Rex). Sophocles’ stories generally revolve around the influence of fate and free will in ancient Greek life. Whether his characters try to outsmart or avoid fate such as Oedipus or simply accept their fate with open arms such as Antigone. Fate is defined as “the will or principle or determining cause by which things in general are believed to come to be as they are or events to happen as they do (Merriam Webster Dictionary).” Free will…show more content…
The free will of Oedipus’ father, King Laius, to banish his son from his kingdom led to Oedipus killing him and marrying his own mother, allowing fate to play out. In Antigone, the deaths of many characters were due to their own choices. Haemon, son of Creon, makes the conscious decision to commit suicide in order to be with his loved one. Eurydice, wife of Creon, makes the decision to commit suicide when she hears her son has killed himself. Creon unknowingly put these events into play when he made the individual decision to outlaw the burial of Polynices.
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