Destiny, Fate, Free Will and Free Choice in Oedipus the King - Oedipus as Victim of Prophecy

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Oedipus as Victim of Fate


I strongly believe that Oedipus is a victim of fate. By trying to avoid the oracle that foretold his life he was at the same time fulfilling his fate. It was fate that led his father to Delphi to find out the destiny of his Oedipus. Also, it was fate, which made Laius and Jocaste to make the decision to kill their son. It was Oedipus’s fate that the shepherd didn't kill him. Fate also made him leave Corinth, when he was trying to avoid killing his father and marrying his mother. Fate that had him meet Laius at a narrow path. (How did Laius leave the city, when the sphinx would let none enter or leave?) Oedipus and Laius never would've fought if they didn't meet at the narrow pass. It was fate that Oedipus was able to solve the Sphinx riddle.

Oedipus also was fated with hubris or pride. His pride forced him to kill his own father because he refused to pay a toll or give another the right of way. Oedipus's pride prevents him from seeing the truth. Oedipus is blinded by his pride and cannot accept that he could not avoid his fate. The irony is that the only time Oedipus is not blinded by his pride, is when he blinds himself physically. Had Oedipus not had some much pride, he would have listened to Creon and understood the truth in Teiresias.

By the time Oedipus reaches Colonus he realizes that he is was not responsible for his fate.  His fate and his pride are the factors involved in where he feels he should die and be buried. His fate was told to him that he would rest the holy ground of Eumenides. Oedipus has his daughters perform rites when the citizens tell him he has to perform them for trespassing on holy ground. His never apologizes for his trespass, but rather regard himself as holding knowledge of the gods beyond that of the citizens due to his pride. Oedipus’s pride makes him feel that his sons should have tried to stop his exile, so his refuses to be buried by Thebes and give the city the strength and protection, the blessing the gods put on his body. It is also his pride preventing him to talk with his son, Polynices, when he comes to Athens.

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"Destiny, Fate, Free Will and Free Choice in Oedipus the King - Oedipus as Victim of Prophecy." 123HelpMe.com. 22 Jun 2018
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When Creon justifies his actions of threatening to seize Oedipus and make him go back to Thebes to Theseus, Oedipus pridefully argues that his fate was put on him by the gods, that he caused none of it. Believing in him, Theseus goes after Creon to get Oedipus’s daughters back.

The play ends when Oedipus tells Theseus he will reward him for brining his daughters back by giving Athens is body to bury for the blessings of the gods. Did he do this out of his gratitude to Theseus or was he thinking of his foretold fate?


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