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Oedipus the King: Fate or Free Will?

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Oedipus the King, assembled by Sophocles, indicates an underlying association between fate and free will. In today’s society, we let our lives be led by a distinct force that we believe in. Yet, a widespread controversy that still rages today is whether we, as a species, have free will or if some divine source, some call it fate, governs our destiny. Whether it be an elevated power deciding your life for you or the alternatives that people make. Fate compromises of being affected by a greater power to achieve your fate. Whereas free will is distinguished as having a personal choice for your behavior. Oedipus is preordained to obtain a prophecy. Even though he was a victim of fate, he was not influenced by it. His past prosecutions were deduced by fate, but what happened in Thebes, was of his own free will.

Oedipus is a supplicant of knowledge and truth. He attempts to discover Laius’s murder and his own individuality, despite various warnings that he should leave the truth alone. His quest for understanding and validity, however, results in harm as Oedipus finds his destiny, which he was better off not knowing.

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Influence leads to everyone’s decisions; the things a person says will take part in our future. For Oedipus, one of these attributes was the desire for knowledge and truth about his own existence. This driving force in the play led to the truth of his origin. This ties in with his own aspect of free will. His free will is based on his drive for knowledge. The gods who control fate manipulate the thinking and concepts in human free will. Ultimately fate is what overcomes all. It may not seem like it, but free will was given to mankind by the gods or God. So in turn the gods decide the fate of everybody when they created man. It was already decided and can not be changed. One can still argue the position that free will is more dominant, but if you relate to creation and how the gods made man, fate overcomes.

Overall, destiny is the divine power that regulates free will and discerns one’s life. Oedipus character affects his hardships through his infamy by continuously withholding his own fate, as his temper took an important stance on him and the rational choices he made. The main cause of Oedipus’s downfall is his unwillingness to accept his own fate.

They all tie in together because it’s visible how their environment shapes the way they think and act. In our society, we choose to be around certain people that may or may not be an influence in positive ways. This leads to either positive or negative influences. In the Bible this topic is seen as well, “Walk with the wise and become wise, for a companion of fools suffers harm.” Influence is what we’re driven by; we are under the influence to fit in and to be a part of something. Whether it is an influence to buy things or crucial decisions we must make. In the end, we will all have control over the decisions we make and we also have control over the people we choose to be influenced by.

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Oedipus the King: Fate or Free Will? (2022, Jun 29). Edubirdie. Retrieved February 3, 2023, from https://edubirdie.com/examples/oedipus-the-king-fate-or-free-will/
“Oedipus the King: Fate or Free Will?” Edubirdie, 29 Jun. 2022, edubirdie.com/examples/oedipus-the-king-fate-or-free-will/
Oedipus the King: Fate or Free Will? [online]. Available at: <https://edubirdie.com/examples/oedipus-the-king-fate-or-free-will/> [Accessed 3 Feb. 2023].
Oedipus the King: Fate or Free Will? [Internet] Edubirdie. 2022 Jun 29 [cited 2023 Feb 3]. Available from: https://edubirdie.com/examples/oedipus-the-king-fate-or-free-will/
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