Free Will In Sophocles 'Oedipus The King'

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Oedipus State of Mind What causes people to make specific actions throughout their life? This question is asked and answered in Sophocles’ play Oedipus the King as he portrays how fate, freewill, foreshadowing, and death intertwine to form an individual’s story. Oedipus’ free will is evident as he makes choices that lead to tragic consequences. However, these acts of free will are made apparent as a result of fate’s verdict. In addition, foreshadowing is utilized as characters of Oedipus the King are warned about their fates in both indirect and direct manners. Death as an option then manifests as Oedipus and others are forced to acknowledge their ironic blunder. Freewill is a prominent factor of Oedipus the King as fate influences drastic…show more content…
Oedipus’ dominant personality and freewill are portrayed once again as he unknowingly kills his father. Lines 342-343 illustrate this issue as Oedipus exclaims, “But we were more than quits, for in a trice with this right hand I struck him with my staff, and he rolled backward from his chariot’s seat. And then I slew them all. And if it chance that Laius and this stranger are akin…” Thus, Oedipus free will is evident because of his tendency to possess a quick temper. He could’ve simply taken the encounter with a grain of salt, but instead he let his rage encourage his actions. In addition, Oedipus’ free will is depicted as he becomes determined to reveal his true origin. Multiple characters of Oedipus the King warn Oedipus about the ugly truth in which he seeks; however his stubborn personality influences him to…show more content…
This is evident as the blind prophet, Teiresias, accuses Oedipus of being the murder of Laius. Line 402 states, “ It is not Creon harms thee, but thyself.” This prophecy foreshadows the premise of the play as it hints at Oedipus' mistakes and misfortune before they are truly revealed. As a result, a feeling of suspense is added to the play. Furthermore, foreshadowing and irony are can be identified as Oedipus states, “ Truth is for all but there, but thou hast none blind in thine ears, thy reason, and thine eyes.” (Lines 391-392) This hints at future events as Oedipus eventually comes to acquire all of the characteristics that he belittled the prophet about. Because Oedipus is too coward to acknowledge the truth and face the consequences of his actions, he loses all sense of reason as he takes it upon himself to gouge his eyes out; thus becoming blind in his own

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