Fate vs Free Will in Oedipus Rex

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The play Oedipus by Sophocles is a Greek disaster, which investigates the difference of destiny. The play spins around Oedipus, a man who in the end winds up lowered by his destruction. Emotional, verbal, and situational incongruity can be noted in Oedipus Rex. Dramatic inconsistency is a major piece of the play as the characterizing component and trademark which enables the group of spectators to comprehend the fundamental character and makes a feeling of dread since Oedipus' catastrophe could turn into their own. Verbal incongruity happens when a character discusses a circumstance or individual where the person in question accepts its reality anyway and the crowd realizes that they are most certainly not. Sophocles uses hinting to make a verbal difference. Situational incongruity includes a circumstance where activities affect what is planned. Situational incongruity was the foundation of the play since it made up the biggest clash of the whole play. These three components together help the pursuer investigate the incongruity in Oedipus.

Sensational incongruity happens first in the story when Oedipus unconsciously slaughters his dad, King Laius. Oedipus grew up accepting that his actual dad was, 'Polybus of Corinth'. After hearing the prescience for his life, Oedipus leaves Corinth to keep himself from slaughtering his father. During his voyage, Oedipus meets King Laius and murders him. The incongruity is discovered when Oedipus moves toward becoming a ruler and embarks to discover the King's killer. While during the time spent discovering King Laius' killer, Oedipus discovers that he killed King Laius and that he ought to have searched for himself the entire time.

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Notwithstanding the sensational incongruity, Sophocles utilizes verbal incongruity a few times all through the play, including when Oedipus converses with the individuals of Thebes. Sophocles discusses how the open has fallen and about the enemy of King Laius. Oedipus says that he realizes that the individuals are experiencing numerous things and he likewise says that they are sick. The incongruity is discovered when the pursuer realizes that Oedipus is extremely the 'wiped out' one. This carried light on the relationship between Oedipus and his mom and how they didn't realize that they were truly related. The pursuer realizes that Oedipus exists as the wiped out one since he murdered his very own dad, particularly when Oedipus says, 'Cursed is the blood he shed with his very own hand!' and laying down with his natural mother.

The events in the story Oedipus the King, that is written by Sophocles tells us about a hidden relationship of a man’s free will occurring within the infinite order or fate that the Greeks believe will lead the world in a uniformed purpose. The man was free to choose and was mostly believed to be in control of their actions. Fate and free will describe a lot about Oedipus the King because of all of the choices made by everyone. Majority of the people in the world use fate and free will as the two things to help them make choices. “To state that the fact that God knows in advance what human beings will do in some circumstances does not impinge on human freedom”(Florio). Free will is when you get to choose everything in your life and how it is going to be. “To state that human beings are able to change God’s past beliefs” (Florio). Some people feel they are responsible for their own actions in their life. One of the most disputed themes of the story Oedipus Rex is free will. This profound particular strand runs alongside the other ideas, but always influence them. Whether a man is considered to be the master of his own fate and his own fortune is still an uncertain question. Sophocles has placed Oedipus in an unsure position where his fate lies in his hands and where he has free will to escape any situation that should rise against him. Oedipus has both personality and opportunities which could have saved him even though the prediction of the oracle. Therefore, the question of free will stands out large in Oedipus Rex.

In a religious sense, fate is forced upon a person. If a person has the fate to do something it means the course of action has already been determined by divine forces for him. However, it leaves a controversial question of whether an individual has the freedom to act, or not, though from the first part of the play, it seems that Oedipus has full freedom to take action. Jocasta too tries to take control of her fate to prove the oracle. However, when the truth is revealed during the plague, Oedipus accepts his fate saying, “Apollo told me once – it is my fate.”

Both the concept of fate and free will played an integral part in Oedipus’ destruction. Although he was a victim of fate, he was not controlled by it. Oedipus was destined from birth to someday marry his mother and to murder his father. This prophecy, as warned by the oracle of Apollo at Delphi was unconditional and inevitably would come to pass, no matter what he may have done to avoid it. His past actions were determined by fate, but what he did in Thebes, he did so of his own will.

Some people believe in fate and free will. These are the people who don’t know if our life depends on fate or free will or even both. People usually do whatever guides them in life. They don’t know if that is God, fate, or free will that is guiding them in life.

Fate and Freewill all started in Oedipus the King when Oedipus' parents decided to abandon their son. “An oracle came to Laius… that it was fate that he should die a victim at the hands of his own son” (773-786 Sophocles). This is the reason his father abandon Oedipus so the oracle wouldn’t be fulfilled. This is an example of free will because King Laius decides to try and change the future. If King Laius decides to keep Oedipus he would be waiting for destiny to take over. That will be more of fate because King Laius would be waiting on fate to see if it happens or not. Once Jocasta puts all of the pieces together she notices that Oedipus fulfills his fate. Her free will didn’t want Oedipus to find out who he truly was. She also hung herself after everything that went down. Fate never said anything about Jocasta hanging herself but she couldn’t live with what she had down. What this shows is certain things in life you can get around.

Overall fate and free will is the decision on whoever chooses. Your destiny depends on you and how you choose it. Life will throw you obstacles but you decided how you are going to get around them. Yes, everyone will have their different beliefs in the world but that is how everything goes. Sometimes things are going to happen in your life that you cannot control. You can try everything you can to get around it but it will still happen.

Frequently Asked Questions

Did Oedipus Have Free Will?

No, Oedipus did not have free will. He was fated to fulfill the prophecy of the Oracle at Delphi and was ultimately doomed to suffer a terrible fate no matter what he did.

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Fate vs Free Will in Oedipus Rex. (2022, Jun 09). Edubirdie. Retrieved July 24, 2024, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/fate-and-free-will-in-oedipus-rex/
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