Oedipus- Fate or Choice

Essay by azndukCollege, UndergraduateA+, March 2006

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Humans have slowly evolved from of belief that their existence was dictated by the gods to a belief that they, themselves, can make free choices. This transition is seen by Sophocles and such he writes Oedipus the King as a way of showing such a transition though not so much as The Orestia (Sophocles 136). Oedipus the King brings into light the clash of both ideas: fate versus choice. After Oedipus find outs that he is the bane of Thebes as the killer of his father (King Laius) and the husband of his mother (Queen Jocasta), he stabs his own eyes because he could not bear to face the people of Thebes as well as his children/siblings. He cries out to the Chorus at this time and states that though Apollo and the Oracle had prophesized such an act of vileness and evilness, he had the choice to avoid it all, just as he had the choice of blinding himself.

In the beginning of all this, right when Oedipus was born, the Oracle, the voice of Apollo, had prophesized to King Laius and Queen Jocasta that their son would kill the king and marry the queen. Likewise, after Oedipus had been adopted by the king and queen of Corinth, he went to the Oracle at Delphi and was told the same prophecy only from his view. To save his "parents", Oedipus left Corinth, which started putting everything into motion that would lead to his downfall.

One must, then, ask the question could the prophecy have been avoided, if Oedipus had really believed that he had the choice. Herein lays the downfall of Oedipus.

Oedipus, being the typical man, was curious and wanted to know the truth. He wanted to know everything he could, because he believed that he...