Fate vs Free Will in Oedipus Essay

In Oedipus the King by Sophocles. Oedipus is responsible for the calamity of his ruin. Fate and free will are two opposing thoughts that Sophocles seamlessly blends into the drama. Sophocles finally leaves it up to the audience to construe the world behind this statement. Oedipus is presented with a series of picks throughout the drama. and his chesty and obstinate nature push him to impetuously do the incorrect determinations. the determinations that finally lead him to his ruin. While Oedipus and those around him consider “fate” the beginning of Oedipus’ jobs. Oedipus’ determinations show the audience that it is he who is responsible.

Sophocles is able to drive his message about the booby traps of human haughtiness through Oedipus’ fatal defects and the usage of metaphorical and actual sightlessness. Possibly the most obvious ground Oedipus is responsible is that by the terminal of the drama Oedipus has taken duty for his actions. Oedipus provinces. “Now loathed by the Gods. boy of the female parent I defiled matching in my male parents bed. engendering lives in the pubess that spawned my deplorable life. What heartache can coronate this heartache? It’s mine entirely. my destiny-I am Oedipus! ” ( Sophocles 1492 ) . Oedipus clearly declares that he defiled his female parent. he coupled with her in his father’s bed.

The heartache is his alone. Even though he may believe that this was his fate. he takes duty for carry throughing it. Oedipus has no problem seeing the mistake of his ways by the terminal of the drama. as he states. “… I was so incorrect. so wrong” ( Sophocles 1557 ) . Although Oedipus takes duty. he is non the lone individual to fault. Ultimately. the incrimination could fall on Jocasta and Laius. Oedipus’ biological parents. The twosome was warned that their kid was cursed early on. but alternatively of holding Oedipus killed and really seeing it through. they heedlessly had baby Oedipus pinned down on a mountain.

Jocasta and Laius ne’er really made certain that Oedipus was killed. Oedipus references this at the terminal of the drama: “If I’d died so. I’d ne’er have dragged myself. my loved 1s through such hell” ( Sophocles 1487 ) . Oedipus’ brush with Laius at the hamlets reveals a great trade about Oedipus’ character and fatal defects. In this important scene. Oedipus reveals his pique and deficiency of self-denial that sets him on the route to carry throughing the prognostication of his destiny. One could even state that Oedpius merely shows a face of ancient route fury. Dr.

George Eppley asserts. “Had at that place been a newspaper history of this violent event. the streamer headline might hold read. ‘Road Rage Kills King Laius and Bodyguards. Murderer Sought’” ( Eppley 48 ) . Nothing forces Oedipus to kill Laius ; there is no accident. The location of a intersection for this scene is metaphorical of Oedpius’ pick. Oedipus could hold chosen to disregard the difference and stop it peacefully. but he alternatively lashes out. The usage of hamlets as a puting throughout literature and movie likewise has shown to be symbolic of the unknown results of a group of picks.

Some might remember the last shooting of the Robert Zimeckis movie Cast Away. in which Tom Hanks stands at the centre of a intersection. forced to do a physical and metaphorical pick about his life. Sophocles utilizes that symbolism in this scene. The actual scene of a intersection serves besides as a nonliteral intersection in Oedipus’ life. the point in which Oedipus can swerve off from the fatal prognostication or get down carry throughing it. Because he gives in to his quick. unprompted pique. Oedipus chooses the latter. When Oedipus arrives at Thebes. he is presented with yet another pick: to go the male monarch and to marry the queen. or to travel on.

Once once more. Oedipus’ pick puts him one measure closer to carry throughing the prognostication. Oedipus is non forced into get marrieding Jocasta. this is merely his determination. Fate is non responsible. Sing fate versus free will. E. R. Dodds says this about the drama: “… we are non entitled to fault Oedipus either for sloppiness in neglecting to roll up a handlist for deficiency of ego control in neglecting to obey its injunctions. For no such possibilities are mentioned in the drama. or even hinted at… “ ( Dodds 40 ) . Dodds so goes on to state. “Oedipus does what he can to hedge his destiny” ( Dodds 41 ) .

What Dodds fails to acknowledge is that Sophocles’ motive of sightlessness throughout the drama seems to be a direct mention to Oedipus’ defects. From the really get downing when he declares. “I see- how could I fail to see… ” ( Sophocles 70 ) to the center when he realizes. “ [ H ] ow terrible- to see the truth when the truth is merely hurting to him who sees! ” ( Sophocles 359 ) to the terminal when he laments. “ [ vitamin D ] Ark horror of darkness. my darkness” ( Sophocles 1450 ) sight and sightlessness. the absence of sight. are actual and nonliteral motives in the drama.

Oedipus can impute his nonliteral sightlessness throughout the drama to his hubris and haughtiness. It is because Oedipus is so choleric and chesty that he is unsighted to his ain errors that lead him to his death. Sophocles’ usage of sightlessness in the drama gives the reader/audience more insight into Oedipus’ defects. and Oedipus’ defects are what cause him to carry through the prognostication. Therefore. Sophocles. in a complexly traffic circle manner. does in fact intimation at the possibility that Oedipus was merely careless. To counter Mr.

Dodds’ statement. Oedipus has plentifulness of chances to do a better pick. he is merely unsighted to those chances because of his defects. To to the full understand Sophocles’ message. the drama must be analyzed objectively every bit good as textually. What is Sophocles seeking to state to the audience about human nature? If it truly is an ineluctable destiny that gets Oedipus where he is. so no point can be made about the danger of haughtiness. hubris. and pique. If Oedipus truly had no manner out of his “fate” . if he genuinely was on some kind of rail. so his defects are basically rendered obsolete.

If it is entirely fate that takes attention of Oedipus’ life. so the subtext of Sophocles’ point through Oedipus is that no adult male truly has free pick ; no adult male can larn from his errors because he is trapped inside of a one-track life. a life that is governed by something other than himself. Alternatively of go forthing the reader with this message. Sophocles leaves the statement of destiny versus free will far more equivocal. By the terminal of the drama. two facts remain: Oedipus’ ruin is prophesized. and Oedipus does carry through the prognostication.

The truth of the affair is that Oedipus’ picks are what led him to carry through the prognostication. If the drama is viewed in this visible radiation. so Oedipus’ hubris becomes far more eventful. therefore giving the drama farther intending. While Sophocles ne’er blatantly states. “What happens to Oedipus is a consequence of his ain picks. ” the subtext of the drama is prevailing with grounds that cipher is more responsible for Oedipus than Oedipus. Through Oedipus. Sophocles shows the audience the effects of sloppiness in decision-making and the hardship that is frequently spawned from hyperbolic self-importance.