Essay by PaperNerd ContributorHigh School, 12th grade November 2001

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In Sophocles' drama Oedipus Rex, the critic's statement concerning the protagonist's need to challenge fate, even though there is no way to avoid it, is supported throughout the storyline. In this drama is about the ill-fated King Oedipus as he realizes that he unknowingly killed his father and slept with his mother, the protagonist constantly attempts to take his destiny into his own hands, his hubris guiding much of his decisions. From Sophocles' prologue to his exodus, the idea of challenging fate is put forth, however never succeeding, which makes the protagonist the tragic hero.

Sophocles' prologue of the drama immediately supports the critic's view on taking fate into the hands of the protagonist in the first statement. Traditionally in Greek drama, the practice of thanking the gods for ones accomplishments is expected. However, in the first few lines, Oedipus tells his people that he will solve the problem of the plague, instead of assuring that the gods will rid the land of the disease.

"I would gladly give all aid; I should be hard of heart if I did not pity such suppliants as these." This statement by Oedipus contains the word "I" three times, and not one mention of the gods good will. The kind of hubris seen here tells the audience that Oedipus will not lay back and let the gods do as they will. Even though his self-centered approach does little to praise the gods, it shows that he wishes to challenge his own fate by his own actions.

The critic's view on the protagonist's necessity to not accept his fate is seen again portrayed by Sophocles in the first episode. If one was to accept his fate as is, and not challenge it, then he would realize that any effort put forth to...