Oedipus: Destiny's Child

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The story of Oedipus the King revolves around the voyage of Oedipus to avoid his own fate, something that in the end he cannot do. This literary work raises many questions regarding fate and its control over our lives, and more interestingly, our control over it, and yet never gives us an answer from which we can draw a solid conclusion. It could be proven that the decisions and actions made by Oedipus are the factors that affect his life, but whether if it is “fate” or not can also include a control over one's actions is a question that goes back to the question of control over fate.

In Sophocles' play we are introduced to the protagonist Oedipus, whose actions and fate determines the course of his life and will eventually lead to his downfall, but the question of whether it was strictly fate or strictly his actions remains to be answered. When Oedipus goes to the Oracle, the Oracle predicts what will in the end become of Oedipus, but he does not control Oedipus’ life and actions. It could be said that Oedipus determines his conduct by being the type of man he is and takes steps under free will. His resolution to hear Creon’s message with others in attendance, his promise to avenge the king’s murder and his drive to learn the truth were all actions motivated by his character and conducted under free will. His actions in the play show that it could be free will, not fate, which leads to the breakthrough of the murder of his father and marriage to his mother. On the other hand is the fact that through all of Oedipus' attempts to evade his fate, he fulfills what he had been told was his destiny, thus proving fate to be true.

An example of Oedipus making a clear personal choice that affects his life is after Creon returns from Delphi with news. Creon proposes that he speak to Oedipus in private, and tells Oedipus “Is it your pleasure to hear me with all these gathered around us? I am prepared to speak, but should we not go in?” (890). Oedipus replies,...
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