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Free Will and Fate

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Kshama Parekh
Mrs. Cooney
1H-B
1/29/13

Cause: Free Will…Effect: Fate

Fate: “a power thought to control all events and impossible to resist.” Free will: “the ability to act at ones own discretion.” The question is do they go hand in hand? Does one affect the other? Fate is decided far before birth, and free will represents the decisions made throughout life depending on surrounding circumstances. But, the decisions made affect the final outcome, therefore free will determines fate. On the contrary though, fate does not change so then free will choices are dictated by ultimate fate. Everything in life happens for a reason, may it be the choices made or the destiny fulfilled. Along the way though many people offer advice that affect choices made, was it fate that they gave their input? Is it free will to take or not to take that advice? Homer’s epic poem, The Odyssey demonstrates that despite warning, characters often use their free will to make choices that in the end actually fulfill their fate. Primarily Aegisthus’s refusal to acknowledge the gods warning, serves as the first example of mankind using her own free will to bring her destiny to fruition. Hermes tells Aegisthus not to sleep with Clytemnestra and not to kill Agamemnon, but he does so anyway, and so Orestes kills Aegisthus as revenge. Aegisthus received warning from the gods, they told him “far in advance…’don’t murder the man… don’t court his wife… revenge will come from Orestes’” (Homer 1.45-48) and the predicted outcome came true –Aegisthus was killed. The Gods warned Aegisthus of what his fate held, and in utilizing his free will he chose to ignore this advice and his fate became reality. It is “with [each characters] own reckless ways...their pains [are compounded] beyond their proper share” (Homer 1.39-40); meaning that committing reckless actions will result in possible calamitous outcomes. Aegisthus chose to kill Agamemnon, he chose to court Clytemnestra, he chose to ignore the...