Fate And Free Will In Oedipus The King By Sophocles

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Oedipus the King by Sophocles describes the story of a baby boy who is prophesied to kill his father and marry his mother, which, despite his best efforts, eventually comes true. While some believe that Oedipus is a victim of fate, many examples prove that Oedipus only has himself, and his impulsive rage, to blame. Although one cannot control every aspect of their life, one’s hamartia can get in the way of fate and can eventually lead to their tragic downfall if they allow it. After leaving the kingdom of Corinth in determination to not fulfill the prophecy, Oedipus is provoked at a crossroads and engages in a fight with King Laius and several other men, killing all but one. “I was encountered by a herald and a carriage with a man in it...he led the way and the old man himself wanted to thrust me out of the road by force. I became angry and struck the coachman who was pushing me...and then I killed them all” (Sophocles 802-813). Oedipus participates in his hamartia of impulsive rage, which is extremely unnecessary to the situation and only makes it worse. He is not someone who falls victim to fate, as he is in complete control of the situation and chooses to murder the men out of his own free will.…show more content…
“I will not bring this pain upon us both, neither on you nor on myself” (332-333). By refusing to tell Oedipus what he knows, Teiresias is saving him and the rest of the kingdom the agony of the truth. However, besmirching fate, Oedipus’ fatal flaw comes into play again as he angrily demands the truth, and learns that he is in fact the murder of King Laius. By becoming recklessly angry, Oedipus can only hold himself responsible for what has

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