Which Is More Responsible for Oedipus’ Fate, Oedipus Himself or “Moira” Fate?

Topics: Oedipus, Sophocles, Oedipus the King Pages: 3 (1050 words) Published: February 21, 2011
When we look at situations that occur in our lives every day, we tend to think that maybe the end result was destined to happen and foreseen many years ago, perhaps even before our birth. Even so, we remain aware of the fact that “for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.” Hence, our actions can have some bearing on our lives, whether the effect is adverse or desirable. Sophocles’ Oedipus the King is a play representing a Greek belief determining the fate of men. The Greeks firmly believe that they are bound to any prophecy made by the gods. With this in mind, one would initially agree that “moira” is solely responsible for determining Oedipus’ fate. However, after a thorough analysis of Oedipus’ character we see how his actions play a significant part in determining his fate. Additionally, we see how pride, curiosity, and a harsh temper influence his tragic outcome. In the play, Oedipus is fated to murder his father and marry his mother. His parents, Laius and Jocasta, try to avert the oracle by sending their son away to be killed, but he is actually raised by the king and queen of Corinth. As a young adult, he was told the prophecy and in fear, he fled Corinth, after which his encounter with a group of travelers resulted in him killing and old man who was actually his birth father, King Laios. Upon arrival at Thebes he solves the riddle of the Sphinx, and almost immediately he was bestowed the title of King. Shortly after, he was wed to Jocasta, his birth mother. The fulfillment of the prophecy occurs when he has four children with his mother. Although the main action of the story does not take place until years after Oedipus was made king, the background is essential to its interpretation. From the beginning of this tragedy, Oedipus engaged in many actions which eventually lead to his own downfall. Oedipus could have waited for the plague to end, but out of compassion for his suffering people, he had Creon go to Delphi to search of help....
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