Dr. Meir Lubetski
Dr. Meir Iubetski
Dec 12, 2011
King Oedipus and his Fate
Prepare for a trial in which you must defend King Oedipus against the charge of killing his father and having an incest relationship with Queen Jocasta.
A very wise man once says, "God versus Man, Man versus God, God versus Nature, Nature versus God, Man versus Nature, Nature versus Man." These six battles constitute an ultimately greater battle: the battle of free will versus determinism. Free will is the ability for a human being to make decisions as to what life he or she would like to lead and have the freedom to live according to their own means and choose their own destiny. …show more content…
It is common belief to assume that mankind does indeed have free will and each individual can decide the outcome of his or her life. Fate and free will both decide the fate of Oedipus the King. However, it not fair for Oedipus to take full responsibility of killing his father and having an incent relationship with Queen Jocasta because fate has overcome his free will.
The logic of Oedipus' transgression is actually quite obvious, and Oedipus' father, King Laius, also has an analogous methodology and transgression. They both had unfortunate destinies: Laius was destined to be killed by his own son, and Oedipus was destined to kill his father and marry his mother. This was the ominous decree from the divinatory Oracle at Delphi. King Laius feared the Oracle's proclamation and had his son, the one and only Oedipus, abandoned on a mountain with iron spikes as nails so that he would remain there to eventually die. And yet, his attempt to obstruct fate was a failure, for a kindly shepherd happened to come upon the young Oedipus and released him from the grips of death. The shepherd then gave the young boy to a nearby king who raised him as his own, and consequently named him Oedipus, which meant "swollen …show more content…
Together they have four children, and Oedipus' dire fate had been fulfilled, all without his knowledge. Problems begin with a plague that ravages the city of Thebes and Oedipus sets out to find the cause of Laius’s death. At length, he discovers that he himself is the cause for he was guilty of both patricide and incest. When that realization is manifested, the utter shock and disgust of the horrific situation causes the tormented and disillusioned Oedipus to blind himself of a self-inflicted.
Many people believe that this was the retribution he paid for his crime, but I would argue that Oedipus had no choice in the matter and simply had fulfilled his destiny. Oedipus does not consciously know of what he was doing at the time, and thus, his crime was not entirely premeditated. And one cannot condemn ignorance no more than one can realistically condemn good intentions, for Oedipus was both truly unaware of what he had done and of no desire to harm whom he had thought to be his