Fate And Free Will In Sophocles Oedipus The King

Topics: God, Oedipus the King, Oedipus Pages: 4 (820 words) Published: November 20, 2015


In Sophocles’ O​edipus The King,​Oedipus was born with the curse that he would kill his father, Laios, and marry his mother, Jocasta. Oedipus tries to avoid his fate by running away from Corinth, however this causes him and Laios to meet one last time, and Oedipus ends up fulfilling the prophecy. With this in mind, the gods create a person’s predetermined fate, and no one can ever escape it, as Jocasta points out; “No mortal can practise the art of prophecy, no man can see the future.” (935). O​edipus The King i​llustrates​t​hat the gods have the ultimate power in people's’ lives rather than free will of the people, an individual cannot overcome fate because the gods determine their future, and personalities are chosen by the gods and as well...

Throughout the play, the oracle or prophet plays major role because it was the only way for humans to try and understand the unknown. As a matter of fact, the oracle was never wrong according to the play, and his predictions introduced dramatic irony to the story. Alternatively, knowing the unknown causes people to try to prevent their prophecy from happening, like Laios and Oedipus. The priest told Laios that he was doomed to be murdered by his son, so to overcome his fate, “Laois had [Oedipus’s] feet pierced together behind the ankles and gave orders to abandon [Oedipus] on a mountain, leave him alone to die.” (950). The fact that an individual may not overcome fate allows for the three year old Oedipus, with pierced feet and alone on a mountain, to be saved when he should have died due to poor medical technology in ancient Greece.Therefore, whatever choices King Laios and Jocasta make about their son aftering seeing the prophecy, the outcome going to be the same because fate is determined by the gods and can not be denied. In addition to this, personalities cause people to take certain actions or respond to the prophecy...

Even though a person may be able to figure out what their future is, they do not have the power to change it, because everything is predetermined by the gods.. The pursuit of knowledge and curiosity of men, and the desire to have free will causes people to try and overcome their fate, but as displayed in O​edipus The King,​people cannot change their...
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