Oedipus and Fate

In: English and Literature

Submitted By mascha52
Words 2174
Pages 9
Samuel Orazem
11-22-2014
Balser - Yellow

Puppets and Prophecies

The idea of fate has existed alongside humans since before the creation of even the most primitive, simplistic religions. Throughout history, there has always been a clear divide between those who believe in fate and destiny, and those who believe in their own free will. The struggle to prove or disprove the existence of fate is one that has been present along with the idea of fate since its beginning. In Oedipus the King, Sophocles not only clearly shows his own opinion on the existence of fate, but also demonstrates the struggle humans encounter when trying to determine whether they have control over their destiny. Ancient societies, such as the Ancient Greeks, strongly believed in religious ideals to a greater extent than many modern societies; however, Oedipus’s story is one of few from Ancient Greece that openly questions the existence of fate, and dares to entertain the idea of free will. The time described in the play is one where the truthfulness of religion was being heavily questioned, and at its core, Oedipus the King is about the existence of fate. Throughout its pages, the play shows characters who both believe in destiny like Tiresias, and also characters like Oedipus, who transition from believing in fate to believing in free will, and back again. In Oedipus the King, the difference in opinions between Oedipus and Tiresias regarding the existence of fate, clearly show the nature of fate in the play, and Sophocles’s opinion on the existence of destiny and free will as well. Oedipus is a character held in high esteem by most others in the play, and throughout is referred to as the great leader, a savior, and more. Even after his eventual downfall, the citizens of Thebes choose to pity him instead of defiling his name, believing they lost an outstanding leader, rather than a…...

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