Oedipus Rex 3 Essay, Research Paper
There are those in the world that will have you believe that fate controls the lives of all of us. Still, there are those who insist that each individual has complete control over there own lives; a free will over there own destinies. Oedipus attempts to dodge his fate and change his life for the better, an act that has the reverse effect.
According to the prophecies, Oedipus would be born to Laius and Jocasta, only to grow up to be the death of his father, Laius, and the bride to his mother, Jocasta. Believing this to be true, the king and queen give the child to a shepherd, who was to kill Oedipus. Not wanting to do this, the shepherd passed the baby on to another shepherd, who then gave the child to his foster parents, King Polybus and Queen Merope. Thus, Oedipus grows up believing the king and queen to be his real parents. But, fate would inevitably catch up with him. At dinner , a drunken man shout out, Aha! Sham father s son! Hurt, he ran to the oracle at Delphi, where upon he learned of fates disgusting plans. Plans to kill his father and to marry his mother. O I fled from there. I measured out the stars to put all heaven in between the land of Corinth and such a damned destiny. That free will act must have been invoked by fate, for the very land he fled to was the land of Thebes, the land where his real parents rein as king and queen. It would seem that fate not only controls people s lives, but their own free will! His plans to disrupt his destiny played right into those of fate s. A great example in the book where Sophocles illustrates his belief that know one is able to out run their true path in life.
Now, the prophecies begin to be fulfilled. En route to a faraway city where he could start a new life, he comes across a small chariot. The old man within the chariot enticed the leading groom to force Oedipus off the road, infuriating him. Oedipus kills all the men traveling with the chariot. The groom jostled me and I, infuriated, landed him a blow. Which when the old man sees, he waites till I m abreast, then from his chariot cracks a double-pointed goad full down upon my head. He more than paid for it. For in a trice this hand of mine felled him with a stick and rolled him from the chariot stunned. I killed them all. As fate would have it, the old man would turn out to be his own father. Fate 2: Free will nothing.
Oedipus continues on his journey, until reaching a city known as Thebes. Upon arrival, he discovers the town is in trouble, fore a female monster has come into the town and is strangling each one of them until they can answer her riddle. As Oedipus enters, he answers her riddle and she leaves. The citizens in gratitude, make Oedipus there king and Jocasta his wife. While Oedipus is very happy, he does not realize yet, that he has married his mother and killed his father, completing the terrible prophecy. Fate, nothing else, has caused these terrible events to conspire. Not only that, his attempts to put the kybosh to his destiny, are the very things that would be the end of him in the long run. Fate 3: Free will zip.
After blindly making these mistakes, Oedipus makes the final mistake of figuring it out. A god told Oedipus to find the killer of Laius and to deal with it in one of two ways: Banish him, or kill him. In trying to find out who killed Laius, he discovers through Jocasta and a shepherd that it was actually he who killed his father and married his mother, fulfilling the prophecies. Lost! Ah lost! At last it s blazing clear. Light of my eyes, good-bye-my final gaze! My birth all sprung revealed from those it never should; myself entwined with those I never could; and I the killer of those I never would, Oedipus screams and moans realizing what he has done. He runs into the castle to find his wife/mother, only to discover her dead; hung in her room by her own hands. He tears a brooch from her dress and begins to stab his eyes with the sharp pin. Blind and broken he enters the palace with Creon; he will be banished.
This tale of a king is a classic example of a man trying to escape his fate. And in this selection, fate is undeniably uncontrollable. Oedipus tried to change his predetermined path and paid with his soul. He now wanders the earth and stays with his daughter Antigone, for he is sightless. Fate is a powerful thing, and Sophocles illustrates this in his tales of Oedipus. Fate is the inevitable truth that all men must face. Free will is the destructive nature that leads us into our own fates all the more sooner. If free will had any effect, Oedipus would have been successful in his endeavor to escape his disgusting destiny. Fate has and always will be the determining factor in our lives.