| Free Will
Quote: “Shall I expel this poison in the bloodFor whoso slew that the king might have a mind”This quote shows the presence of fate when Oedipus declares his intent to solve the murder of Laius which is expressed by the metaphor of “expelling the poison in the blood” and righting the wrong. The second part of the quote, “for whoso slew the king might have a mind to strike me too with his assassin hand” also shows the intervention of fate when Oedipus denounces the murderer in front of his citizens when he himself is the murderer of Laius. This is a clear example of fate’s intervention in the life of the tragic Oedipus.
| Quote:“Oh, as thou carest for thy life, give o’er this quest. Enough the anguish I endure.This quote shows the free will exercised by Oedipus in this case as he ignores this plea by Jocasta to stop his investigation into the murder of Laius and his own parentage. Oedipus’s choice in this situation to ignore Jocasta’s plea to stop the investigation can be thus seen as proof that Oedipus’s tragic ending was in a way , his own doing.Consider the fact that if Oedipus had stopped at his quest for the truth and heeded the advice of Jocasta, would anyone be the wiser of the truth? If Oedipus had not pursued the truth, it might have prevented the calamity that eventually resulted in the tragic ending of Oedipus.This ties in with one of the themes of the play which is a voluntary blindness to the truth.
| Quote: “To twit me with my blindness- thou has eyes,Yet see’st not in what misery thou art fallen.”This quote is from the scene where Oedipus is questioning Teiresias as to the details of the muderer. In this scene, Oedipus is denied the truth by Teiresias who does not answer to Oedipus’s questions and instead as a result is taunted by Oedipus in a feeble attempt by the latter to extract the truth from the former.In this case, we see the foreshadowing of Oedipus’s future by that of Teiresias. “Thou has eyes, yet see’st not in what misery thou art fallen” is a allusion by Teresias to Oedipus’s eventual future of being blinded by his own decision after learning of the truth. This quote shows the intervention of fate as a unchangeable force as what had been predicted early on in the start of the play by Teresias did indeed happen in the end despite the efforts of Oedipus to do his utmost best to prevent the eventual tragedy from happening.
| Quote:“No more shall ye behold such sights of woe.,Deeds I have suffered and myself have wrought;Henceforth quenched in darkness shall ye see those ye should ne’er have seen;Now blind to those”This quote is a clear example of the role free will plays in the tragic ending of Oedipus as it is by his own hands that Oedipus ultimately decides to commit the fatal decision to blind himself and beg for exile from the city’s new king Creon.Fate in this sense, had played no role in Oedipus’s decision to blind himself. It was, as mentioned above, Oedipus’s own decision to commit the act of blinding himself as a act of repentence and atonement for his heinous crimes that he had commited as a result of his own free will.
| Quote:“And of the children, inmates of his home,He shall soon be proved the brother and the sire,Of her who bare him son and husband both,Co-partner, and Assassin of this Sire”This quote is a allusion the the fact that Oedipus is indeed the Son of Jocasta and that the truth would eventually be uncovered by himself and he would not be able to do anything when he was proved guilty of his crimes. The
| Quote:“Yet was I quits with him and more;One stroke of my good staff sufficed to fling him clean,Out of the Chariot seat and laid him prone.And so I slew them every one.”This quote is from the scene where Oedipus is at the crossroads and meets Laius who gets into a squabble with Oedipus in this sceneOedipus’s decision to murder Laius because of a petty squabble at the crossroads is a example of his free will. In this case, Oedipus has indeed brought...
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