Sophocles Essay, Research Paper
The first ode in Sophocles Antigone contains analogies that represent the paradoxical relationship between fate and free-will. The relationship that these two ideas have can be interpreted differently; yet, it is always possible to say that it is your fate to believe in free-will and go against your fate.
One of the more evident phrases/verses clearly shows how the amalgamation of the two can be formed; the chorus recites, “the stormy gray area,” in the ode, the word “gray” is used in a metaphorical manner. Meaning something is not all white and not all black, but gray, a mixture of truth and deceit or fate and free-will; not one or the other, but a little bit of the two. This idea is more coherent than to just believe in one of the beliefs, which leaves parts of life unexplainable. It “yields to his prows,” means that he/(man) can go through anything when he is strong enough. I t says free-will wins when it is strong enough, and it is human greatness that decides what one s fate is, not the Gods or any other foreign force but the person, the soul within you that tells you what, when, and how to do it is you do. The “earth … is graven;…the plows with shining furrows where his plows have gone year after year” metaphorically means that we all end up the same, dead, buried in a grave by humans, it is our fate and not free-will. Fate is bad here because we end up dead, nonexistent to the world as a physical entity; but, if we are lucky, (luck, another fate and free-will topic) some people will remember us when we die. Free-will, as well as fate, only goes so far. For example, someone could want to live forever, but it is not likely for their body to last forever. If someone wants to walk on the ceiling or the wall, they cannot because they cannot defy the law of physics. Gravity is the force that eventually brings the person down back to reality and fate. If someone wants to become rich or get something because they are materialistic, it is feasible; they can accomplish this if they work hard enough and devote their efforts to accomplish this goal.
“The light boned birds and beasts that cling to cover, the lithe fish lighting their reaches of dim water, all are taken, tamed in the net of his mind;” Fate is good here. For the man’s fate makes the animals of the ocean to take hold of his net and be caught by him. It is good because now the man has food to eat.
“Thought as rapid as air,” really means that you have the thoughts but they just haven’t hit your head yet, that little flash of electricity has not lit the light bulb, it’s there but maybe you need more time for it to develop. “And his the skill that deflects the arrows of snow, the spears of winter rain: from every wind he has made himself secure– from all but one; in he late wind of death he cannot stand” gives an example for why if something doesn’t kill you it makes you stronger but in the long run, it will kill you sometime. Oedipus is a perfect example of this conjecture, he followed his fate even though he did not know he was, and at the fin , he died. Another example could be Drug use; if you keep using the drug, it might make you a little less affected by it each time but if you keep taking it you will parish sooner or later, Fate will catch up with you; Fate is evil.
Fate is what declares what you will or will not be, do or will not do; think or will not think. There is a significant amount of evidence in the chorus to suggest and prove that fate is what determines our existence and importance of existence. “O clear intelligence, force beyond all measure!” gives the impression that free-will is the ultimate and all powerful choice and form of living, but it cannot be 100% free-will, as stated above, since one of man’s fates is to die, perish and not exist in the human form. Not even Methuselah could escape this fate. Some may argue that they can exist in a different form, even after biological death, such as Picasso through his paintings and Einstein through his theories and intelligence. The ideas of fate and free-will will forever be an eternal paradox, until there can be no fate or no free-will.
Most of the time we have choices, but not always the ones we want.