Oedipus the King is widely regarded as a tragedy of fate. Briefly stated, it begins with a terrible plague that destroys the city. King Oedipus sends a messenger to the oracle at Delphi to find a cure. The answer that is received suggests to find out who the killer of King Laios was. Oedipus sends for the prophet Teiresias, who after much arguing, finally reveals that Oedipus himself is the murderer. Slowly but surely the history of Oedipus' situation begins to unravel, and it is discovered that there was a prophecy made that he would unwittingly kill his father and marry his mother; Oedipus fulfilled his prophecy.
The conflict here lies with the struggle between the all powerful gods and the mere will of the humans. The prophecy had been made about Oedipus as soon as he was born. Once the destiny was foretold by the gods, no amount of hope, faith, or vain effort by human beings could have prevented it.
As soon as there was interference with fate, it was counteracted by the divinities. Jocasta wanted to kill the baby, so she skewed his legs together, had a servant bring him to the forest and leave him for dead. The servant does not want to carry out this deed and therefore "saves his life" by handing the baby to someone else, so that he can be raised in another city. Further, a drunken man in a tavern tells Oedipus about the prophecy, so he runs home to question his parents about his fate. Instead of telling him the truth, they give him the impression that they are in fact his biological parents.
The idea that must be pointed out here, is that once an oracle or a prophet makes a prediction, it is destined to be and there is absolutely nothing that can be done about it. Oedipus was highly regarded as a noble and honorable king. However, if we explore beneath the exterior, we will discover that in actuality, the King has many faults and is not so honorable and noble.
Oedipus seems to be driven by an...