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Oedipus Fate vs. Freewill

  • Date Submitted: 04/24/2013 06:55 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 65.8 
  • Words: 725
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Fate vs. Freewill
Oedipus Rex is a tragedy of fate. People seem helpless when they face the circumstances that mold their destiny. King Laius of Thebes was told that his son would kill him, and then go on to marry his mother. As soon as his wife Jocasta gave birth to the boy, Laius gave him to his servant so that he would leave the child on Mount Cithaeron to die. The servant couldn’t kill the baby, so he handed him over to a shepherd, who then gave him to the Corinthian King. The child grew up thinking he was the son of the King and Queen of Corinth.
Oedipus learnt from a prophet that he would kill his father and marry his mother, and like his parents, Oedipus tried extremely hard to escape his fate. After running away and killing his real dad, he came to Thebes. The city was being terrorized by the Sphinx, and because nobody was able to solve her riddle, she wouldn’t leave. Oedipus solved the riddle, and as a reward he became king of Thebes and took Laius’s widow as his wife. In complete ignorance of the identity of his parents he killed his father and married his mother. He did this not only unknowingly, but also as a result of the fate that the oracle at Delphi had relayed to him. Oedipus didn’t create his own downfall. It is clear that the events that brought about the tragedy in the life of Oedipus are work of the mystical power which may be called fate or destiny.
Though Oedipus is a great and an honest administrator, he is not, however, a perfect man nor a perfect King. He is hot-tempered, rash, hasty in forming judgments, easily provoked, and even somewhat illogical. Even though he respects Teiresias, he quickly loses his temper and acusses both him and Creon of betrayal. When he sentences Creon to death and then withdraws the punishment shows his impulsiveness and arbitrariness. When he meets opposition, or he thinks he does, he loses his temper. His pride in his intelligence and power are evident flaws and show lack wisdom.
A major question comes up...


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