Oedipus' life was controlled by the destiny of the gods.

Essay by BanterBanter November 2003

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The fate of the gods towards Oedipus held him in his place throughout his life. He was able to run from destiny whenever it was catching up to him, but in the end wasn't able to escape his destiny as it caught him. Oedipus' boorish and angry actions presented him later on with a multitude of problems. The fact that fate is the sole contributor to Oedipus' life shows how he cannot run away from the gods. In a way, it might seem that the gods in Oedipus are bullies, picking on people's lives from above.

His mother Jocasta abandoned Oedipus in the forest because of a prophecy that in the future he would kill his father. Here, Jocasta is certain that she prevented the god's divine fortune and saved her husband, Laius, from certain death. Because of her disobedience toward the gods, Oedipus' fate, besides having to kill his father, would be that he would also have to sleep with his mother.

This was a double-edged sword because it punished both Jocasta and Oedipus. Ultimately, it's fate that catches up to Oedipus; his and his mother's defiant actions cause them both to receive more agony and suffering.

Fate had much to do with the fall of Oedipus. It was fate that told Jocasta that Oedipus would kill his father, and it was fate when the Oracle told Oedipus that he would kill his father and marry his mother. These two fateful prophecies could not be coincidental. Pride, which was Oedipus' fundamental flaw, caused him his sight to fail in order to see the truth. By ignoring the indications that horrible things would happen, Oedipus was surely doomed of the good life.

Being neither able to be changed or reversed, fate was the deck of cards the gods handed...