Fate Vs Choice
In Sophocles' Oedipus the King, the themes of fate and free will are very strong throughout the play. However only one of them brought about Oedipus' downfall and death. It is a common belief to assume that mankind does indeed have free will and each individual can decide the outcome of his or her life. Though there is the possiblity that the gods control humans’ fate, the reality is that human beings usually exercise free will in arriving at their individual fates. In this sense, destiny may be outlined by the universe, but it is the actions of human beings that lead the ultimate outcome. The first example that shows how choices directly linked Oedipus to the prophecy was at the crossroads. Oedipus chooses to leave the city of Corinth as his own choice. This decision is visible when Oedipus reacted to the man pushing him aside at the crossroads, "the one shouldering me aside, the driver, I strike him in anger! ....I killed them all every mother's son!"( 189). In ancient times when a caravan was coming down the road they usually pushed you to the side. Oedipus didn't like this and in a fit of rage killed all of them. It was his choice, but the gods made it happen since it was bound to happen one way or another.His choice led to the decision to kill the caravan and unknowingly, his father too. If he were a prudent and content man, then his decision would have differed.
The second example is when throughout the entire play, Oedipus pushes various characters for information about his origin. He asks Tiresias, Creon, Jocasta, the oracle, the messenger, and the shepherd for information. Each one of these characters in some way or form refused to give him a thorough answer. As he draws closer to the answer, another character tries to stop his journey. Oedipus...
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