Oedipus' Fate

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“Everything is determined, the beginning as well as the end, by forces over which we have no control. It is determined for the insect, as well as for the star. Human beings, vegetables, or cosmic dust, we all dance to a mysterious tune, intoned in the distance by an invisible piper.”  * Albert Einstein

Themes from 4000 years ago still ring true. Albert Einstein clearly expresses that the themes of fate versus free will that underlie Oedipus Rex are still relevant today. Fate is and always will be a mysterious thing. There is no way to control it, or change it. Regardless of decisions taken, you will always end up exactly where you are meant to. What happened to Oedipus was not a logical consequence of his poor decisions; instead, it was all due to his cultural fate, his parents decisions and his ignorance.

The story of Oedipus began long before the actual plot of the novel began. The series of unfortunate events that led to his downfall were due to actions taken by his parents. When his parents heard of the prophecy from the Oracle, his father quickly ordered for him to be killed. His mother was rather hesitant and left it to a servant to get rid of the child. To get rid of Oedipus, the servant bound his feet together and left him on a mountain top to die of exposure. Luckily young Oedipus was found by a shepherd and brought to the King of Corinth. He grew up believing to be the rightful heir to Corinth and would one day rule as king.

The reason his parents tried to dispose of him was to stop the prophecy from coming true, however it was inevitable. Having left the work to a servant, Iocasta did not actually check if her baby was killed. The servant left Oedipus on a mountain top to die of exposure and that led to the shepherd finding him. The mother’s failure to kill Oedipus actually set everything in motion. If he had not been found by that shepherd, he would not have become prince. If he had not become prince, he would not have...
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