Fate Or Free Will? Known primarily through the ancient plays of the Athenian, Sophocles, Oedipus is a mythical Greek King who, despite his attempts to avoid it, is destined to kill his father, marry his mother, and bring disaster and shame upon himself and his city. A classic Greek tale, the story of Oedipus deals with the themes of fate, moral ambiguity, and the miseralbe outcomes that sometimes faces those who oppose their destiny. We will return to Oedipus momentarily.
Guilt and Shame Themes and Colors LitCharts assigns a color and icon to each theme in Oedipus Rex, which you can use to track the themes throughout the work.
The ancient Greeks believed that their gods could see the future, and that certain people could access this information. Prophets or seers, like blind Tiresias, saw visions of things to come. During the fifth century B.
Some of this tension is plain to see in Oedipus Rex, which hinges on two prophecies. The first is the prophecy received by King Laius of Thebes that he would have a son by Queen Jocasta who would grow up to kill his own father.
The second is the prophecy that Oedipus received that he would kill his father and marry his mother. Laius, Jocasta, and Oedipus all work to prevent the prophecies from coming to pass, but their efforts to thwart the prophecies are what actually bring the prophecies to completion.
This raises a question at the heart of the play: He ends up killing his father and marrying his mother without knowing it—in fact, when he is trying to avoid doing these very things. Does he have free will—the ability to choose his own path—or is everything in life predetermined?
Jocasta argues that the oracles are a sham because she thinks the prediction that her son would kill her husband never came to pass. When she finds out otherwise, she kills herself. In Oedipus Rex, Oedipus has fulfilled his terrible prophecy long ago, but without knowing it.
He has already fallen into his fate.
One could argue that he does have free will, however, in his decision to pursue the facts about his past, despite many suggestions that he let it go.
Oedipus himself makes a different argument at the end of the play, when he says that his terrible deeds were fated, but that it was he alone who chose to blind himself.
Free Will appears in each section of Oedipus Rex. How often theme appears:While free choices, such as Oedipus’s decision to pursue knowledge of his identity, are significant, fate is responsible for Oedipus’s incest and many of the other most critical and devastating events of the play.
In Sophocles’ Oedipus the King, the theme of fate versus free will appears often throughout the play. It is prophesied to Oedipus’s parents, Jocasta and Laius, that their son would grow up to. Sophocles’ Oedipus the King: Fate vs. Free Will In Oedipus the King, one of Sophocles’ most popular plays, Sophocles clearly depicts the Greek’s popular belief that fate will control a man’s life despite of man’s free .
Fate vs. Free Will ThemeTracker The ThemeTracker below shows where, and to what degree, the theme of Fate vs. Free Will appears in each section of Oedipus Rex.
Click or tap on any chapter to read its Summary & Analysis. Fate and Free-Will in Sophocles' Oedipus the King In Sophocles' Oedipus the King, the themes of fate and free will are very strong throughout the play.
Only one, however, brought about Oedipus' downfall and death. Both points could be argued to great effect. Fate and Free-Will in Sophocles' Oedipus the King Essay - Fate and Free-Will in Sophocles' Oedipus the King In Sophocles' Oedipus the King, the themes of fate and free will are very strong throughout the play.
Only one, however, brought about Oedipus' downfall and death. Both points could be argued to great effect.