Oedipus Rex Fate Vs Free Will Essay

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The quotation “Circumstances are beyond the control of man; but his conduct is in his own power.” reflects the tragic protagonist of Oedipus Rex, Oedipus of Thebes. The quotation can be interpreted to mean that although fate is already laid out for you, you have the power of free will to decide what to do with your fate. You can accept it and deal with the consequences, or you can deny it and cause more turmoil for yourself in the process. Cursed by a prophecy dooming him to kill his father and marry his mother, Oedipus cannot escape his fate, and the way he deals with his miserable destiny determines how he ends up at the end of the tragedy. Oedipus was faced with an unbearable situation that he had no control over, but he could have determined…show more content…
Oedipus goes to great lengths to try to prove the prophet is wrong, and cannot accept the fate that has been laid out for him. He tries over and over to prove them wrong, instead of trying to focus on how to handle what would turn out to be the truth. He cannot see that the flaw is with him, instead trying to place the blame on anything else he can think of. His immediate reaction to being told of his fate is accusing his brother-in-law of treason. He spends a great amount of the first act attacking Creon for something he did not do, threatening to banish him. By not trying to think through Teiresias’ message, he causes the people of Thebes to suffer through more misfortune and plague, as they have to suffer through it until Laius’ killer is banished. Oedipus’ prideful nature hurt him and his kingdom in the end. When he finally realized the truth, he way he handled it was in his own hands, and his reaction was something completely in his control. The prophecy did not say that Oedipus would maim and exile himself, but it occurred anyways, because Oedipus consciously chose to do so. A life of anguish may not have been his fate if he had thought things through instead of letting his pride take control of

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