Oedipus Fate Vs Free Will Essay

915 Words4 Pages
One of the largest debates throughout the course of literature is the idea of whether free will or fate controls a human being. This idea is brought up multiple times through the plot of the Greek play Oedipus the King by Sophocles. In Sophocles’ Greek tragedy, Oedipus the King, the idea of fate versus free will is constantly at large; through the situations that occur throughout the play, it is clear that both these ideas play a role in the downfall of Oedipus. Throughout the course of the play, the idea of free will pops up constantly. This idea can be shown through the decisions and actions made from the characters of the play. Even before the play begins the idea of free will can be seen with Jocasta and King Laius. After receiving the prophecy of their son that will murder his father, and then marry his mother, the two decide to try to kill their own son, who turns out to be Oedipus. This choice, however,…show more content…
When the play begins, it is found out that the gods have plagued the city of Thebes. The only way to cure it, is to punish the murderer of King Laius. In news of this Oedipus declares, “I shall not rest until I’ve tracked the hand that slew [Laius]...”(15). This shows the gods, angered at Oedipus’ actions have set forth for him to discover who is truly is, and to fulfill the prophecy. Divine intervention, or fate, can also be seen through the prophecy itself. This is because, each time the prophecy is mentioned, it comes from an oracle who works under the gods. An example of this is the oracle that Oedipus first hears the prophecy from in Delphi. This is found out through Oedipus stating, “...to the oracle, and there Apollo- never hinting what I came to hear- packs me home again, my ears ringing with some other things… horrible disgusting things” (44). With the discovery of the prophecy from an oracle, Oedipus tries avoiding it which only causes him to walk right into

More about Oedipus Fate Vs Free Will Essay

Open Document