Comparing Oedipus The King 'And Socrates'

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For their injustices, Oedipus must be exiled from Thebes; Socrates must drink hemlock and die. Discuss the extent to which Oedipus’ and Socrates’ final moments are determined by past acts of autonomy. In ancient Greece fate was an important part of life, it is believed that whatever fate that has been set for you cannot be changed. In relation to Oedipus his life was largely controlled by the will of divine intervention, although his stubborn trait was what brought him to his demise. This notion can also be explored in the life of Socrates who instead of conforming to traditional beliefs chooses to question them which later on is the cause of his downfall. But in other instances it was the concept of a social contract which must be abided…show more content…
Socrates was charged with three crimes one being corrupting the youth another being inventing new gods and not acknowledging old ones. Socrates was a firm believer that by questioning the world around him he would be living a ‘full life’ and if he did not do this he would be doing harm to himself. By creating arguments between the younger citizens, Socrates was creating a society in which traditional Gods are not acknowledged but rather questioned. For Socrates a main reason for questioning was his own desire to spread his own ideas and wisdom amongst his community and shape the ways of thinking of his audience. This has obviously viewed by members of his polis as something that may damage their traditional ways of thinking. This way of thinking for Socrates eventually led to him being accused of impiety by other members of his polis. Socrates reached his own demise as he was acting entirely in his own actions and not through the consequences of divine intervention. On the other hand Socrates does not have complete autonomy as he is restricted by the norms of the state. In terms of obedience to his polis, leaving prison through bribery as suggested by Crito would be “doing someone a harm” (Crito, 50a). This is referring to a social contract that Socrates has with his polis that cannot be broken even though his sentence was unjust, it would be unjust for him to escape prison as he believes that leaving without Athens permission can cause harm to his

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