Fate Versus Free Will In Oedipus The King

688 Words3 Pages
Prophecies perform an essential role in the play, Oedipus the King. Each major character in the play has a different perspective about the idea of fate versus free will. From the beginning of the play, Oedipus’ actions show that he supports the notion that an individual can ultimately has some control over the outcome of his life; however, some choices he makes throughout the play, indicate that he still believes in the power of prophecy. Jocasta initially expresses the belief that fate does not control the outcome of man’s life and she disregards the prophecies told to her as false, but this belief ultimately appears to be a guise, as her actions in the end contradict her expressed beliefs. Meanwhile, Creon and Tiresias both seem to clear…show more content…
For example, when Oedipus describes his past to Jocasta he describes how a drunk man at a banquet told him that he wasn’t actually the son of Polybus. This starts Oedipus’ journey for knowledge about his own existence. First, he questions Polybus and Merope, but they yield no real answer. Oedipus then meets the oracle of Apollo to ask find the truth about who his parent were. Instead of an answer to Oedipus’ question, Apollo gave Oedipus a description of his future. “...to lie with my mother and beget children men’s eyes would not bear the sight of - and to be the killer of the father that gave me life” (Sophocles 45). Oedipus so fearful of his fate, runs away from Corinth so he can never be near those he believes are his parents. This action by Oedipus shows that while he believes in fate, meaning he trusted that the prophecy given by Apollo might come true, Oedipus ultimately thought he had the power to change his own fate by simply running away from Polybus and Merope. However, by attempting to avoid the fate described to him, Oedipus actually helped fulfill the prophecy, because if he hadn’t left Corinth he would never have run into Laius at the

More about Fate Versus Free Will In Oedipus The King

Open Document