The Fate of King Oedipus

Essay by jeremy toddUniversity, Bachelor'sA+, April 1996

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In 'King Oedipus' there comes a point in the play where Oedipus

learns something that plays an important role throughout the play. He learns

from a oracle that he will eventually kill his own Father and sleep with his

own mother. As one could imagine this is a shock to Oedipus, and he does

not believe the oracle. However, he cannot control any of this from

happening because it is his fate. He is a victim of circumstances beyond his

control. Oedipus has no control on the outcome of what happens in his life

because his life had already been planned by the Greek Gods.

Throughout the whole play there are references made to many of the

ancient Greek Gods, for example, Apollo, Zeus, Dionysis, and Artemis are

discussed quite often. In ancient Greece the people believed that if anything

happened one of the god's had a reason for it.

Each god was related to one

specific thing like Poseidon being the god of the sea. They thought that if

there was a tidal wave or a hurricane it was because Poseidon was angry at

them. This is the basis for my assumption that Oedipus had no control over

his fate.

First of all, when Oedipus is just a baby his father, King Laius of

Thebes, is told in an oracle that his own son will kill him. So, with the

agreement of his wife, Jocasta, the baby's feet are pinioned, and it's given to a

slave who is supposed to leave it to die on Mt. Cithaeron. However, the

slave feels sorry for the baby, and gives it to a fellow shepherd from Corinth.

The shepherd from Corinth presented the baby to the childless King of

Corinth, who is Polybus, and he brings him up as his...