Oedipus Rex, Predestined Fate

Essay by Jeff HameedCollege, UndergraduateB, November 1996

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In ancient Greek society they believed that ones life is predestined and that ones fate is sealed. What is meant to occur will happen no matter what that person does. In 'Oedipus Rex' Oedipus' fate is doomed from his birth because of the actions of his ancestors. Unlike Oedipus most people today don't believe in predestined fate. People can be all they want to be regardless of their background or the circumstances of their lives. However some people don't realize that they are in charge of their own live and can make conscience decisions to change the course of their lives.

One of Oedipus' ancestors committed a terrible act of rape some time ago. This behavior obviously didn't please the gods and thus they punished Oedipus' family for several generations. When Iocaste and Laios gave birth to Oedipus they were aware of the prophecy that he would one day kill his father and then marry his mother.

With this in mind they tried to have Oedipus killed to avoid this horrible fate. However they couldn't kill him themselves because murder of their own son would get the gods angry all over again. So they tried to get some one to take Oedipus out to the mountains and let him die of natural causes. Some people might argue that they are still indirectly responsible for the death but apparently the Greeks only considered it bad if you were directly responsible for the act of murder. The problem is that this person never left Oedipus on the mountains as he was instructed to and therefore Oedipus never died. So Iocaste and laios go on living worry free thinking that they outsmarted the gods and avoided their horrible fate, but it will catch up with them soon enough. They can't change their...