Is Oedipus Rex: Reoccurring Theme Of Fate Or Free Will?

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In the play, Oedipus Rex, by Sophocles conveys the reoccurring theme of fate. The protagonist, Oedipus, is faced with the challenge of the prophecy of the murder of his biological father, Laius. It then contrasts to result in the protagonist’s free twisting into the prophecy he sets out to resolve. The play portrays symbolism and dramatic irony which revolves around the “crossroads” scene, and its relation to the tragic hero reoccurs around the theme of fate and its contrast with Oedipus’s ideas of free will and fate. The symbolism in the play, Oedipus Rex, relates to the symbolism of the “crossroads” scene and its relation to the protagonist, Oedipus. In lines 707-710 the plays introduction explains the prophecy by stating, “To Laius, King of Thebes, an oracle foretold that the child born to him by his queen Jocasta would slay his father and wed his mother.” The quote symbolizes the subject of the play by explaining how Oedipus will face fate and murder his father without knowledge of their biological relation.…show more content…
Throughout the novel, the protagonist is faced his self-conscious free will contrasted with the fate of the prophecy. For example, “Ye triple high-roads, and thou hidden glen, Coppice, and pass where meet the three-branched ways, Ye drank my blood, the life-blood these hands spilt, My father's” and “Then jostled by the charioteer in wrath I struck him, and the old man, seeing this, Watched till I passed and from his car brought down full on my head the double-pointed goad.” The quotes contrast due to Oedipus’s realization to the prophecy stated by Jocasta to his ideas of his free will of his actions during the murder. Until the point where the protagonist realizes his actions aligning with fate, Oedipus had believed that he had had control over his actions. Instead, his life had been predetermined since his birth as foretold by the

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