Free Will In Sophocles Oedipus Rex

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Throughout Oedipus Rex, Oedipus as well as Jocasta continue to argue against the prophecy that Oedipus would kill his father, marry his mother, and have kids with her. Sophocles stresses the importance of the Greek Gods in the tragedy: “Though the extent of their participation in human affairs remains unclear, the gods are respected and feared in the world of Sophocles' plays” (Gale 1467). The refusal to believe the oracle and prophecy eventually leads to Jocasta’s death, and Oedipus’s exile from Thebes; “Oracles are consulted and heeded. This tension between human free will and divine predestination presents problems of interpretation. Artistically the interest revolves around a person's own free decision, but the development of the plot leaves no doubt as to the outcome” (Gale 1467). Throughout the majority of Sophocles’ plays, there is a common theme in that the characters struggle to understand and interpret the prophecies. In Oedipus Rex, Oedipus refuses to accept the truth of the prophecy. This prophecy is inevitable, and Oedipus refuses to accept that. Oedipus abuses of his free will and is unable to escape …show more content…
The themes include knowledge and self knowledge, ignorance, choices and consequences, public and private life, divine law, prophecy, pride, and the abuse of free will. Oedipus attempted to escape the prophecy that he would kill his father, marry his mother, and have kids with her, however the prophecy was inevitable, thus leading to tragic ending of the story and Oedipus’s exile from Thebes. The themes of the drama establish the character of Oedipus, and portray him as a prime example of a tragic hero. Oedipus Rex established a standard for playwrights to follow, and the tragedy is an impetus for many modern writers. The fusion of theme into the development of the drama helps establish Oedipus Rex as a classic Greek