Oedipus The King Fate Vs Free Will

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Oedipus the King, is a play written by the Greek playwright, Sophocles, that chronicles the journey of self discovery of the King of Thebes, Oedipus. In the tragedy of Oedipus the King, the tragic hero, Oedipus, unearths the truth that he has married and has had children with his mother, and murdered his father. Oedipus’ journey reveals that between fate and free will, a man can neither control his conduct nor his overall circumstances. Oedipus’ conduct imminently leads to his demise due to his actions in response to hearing his fate, his heroic nature, and his noble search for the truth. After calling on the Oracle of Delphi, Oedipus learns his calamitous fate: to lie and beget children with his mother and to kill his father. Unbeknownst…show more content…
Oedipus, being a hero full of wisdom, arrives at the city, solves the riddle, vanquishes the Sphinx, liberates the people of Thebes, and becomes King.The citizens praised Oedipus by saying, “You came to us,,,and liberated our city, you freed us from the tribute which we payed that cruel singer, the Sphinx” (Sophocles 6). Oedipus returns to his true homeland, Thebes, and though thought to be a stranger from Corinth, Oedipus assumes his rightful place on the throne. Oedipus’ self-imposed exodus from Corinth ultimately leads him to Thebes, his birthplace. There, the hero’s fate is completed, as he marries his mother and she gives birth to his children. Oedipus’ heroic actions wise and wisdom ultimately lead to the fulfillment of his…show more content…
Becoming full of pride, Oedipus cannot resist taking the role of the hero and declares, “I shall be the defender of Thebes, and Apollo’s champion, too. I shall rid us of this pollution” (Sophocles 12). Oedipus then embarks on a journey to find the murderer of King Laius. On Oedipus’ search for the truth, his wife, Jocasta, confesses that King Laius “was killed at a place where three highways meet” (42). From this revelation, Oedipus remembers the man he murdered at the crossroads of Phocis, but is not sure that the man he murdered was Laius. Even though Oedipus suspects he is the murderer, he is noble, and continues his quest for the truth. Through later conversations with Jocasta and a Corinthian messenger, Oedipus unearths clues of his birth. When the truth is almost clear, both Jocasta and the Corinthian messenger try to dissuade Oedipus from learning the origins of his birth, but Oedipus says, “Nothing will move me. I will find out the whole truth” (Sophocles 61). Oedipus eventually exposes the circumstances of his birth, and finally experiences anagnorisis when he utters the words, “ O God! It has all come true. Light, let this be the last time I see you. I stand revealed-born in shame, married in shame, and unnatural murderer” (Sophocles 69). Through his dogged and noble pursuit of the truth,

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