Oedipus, from the detective fiction, King, the Oedipus, plays the main leading role in the story who is blindfolded all the way till the end of the book. As a role who is destined with tragic fate, it is a question whether he is one to blame or not for the consequences. I believe that although it was Oedipus himself who commit all the crime, he’s not culpable for killing his father and sleeping with his own mother. Since fate is something that one can’t control or alter, it’s wrong to blame one for. However, Oedipus who was blindfolded to his own action, later realizes his crime, and dies with extreme regret and humiliation. This punishment does not fit the crime, since he is not responsible for his unintentional doing.
“Upon the murderer I invoke this curse- whether he is one man and all unknown, or one of many- may he wear out his life in misery to miserable doom!” (Line 27) This quote proves that Oedipus, from the beginning, wasn’t aware of his own fault. In my opinion, to accuse one for its wrong, one must know or be conscious about his crime. Because from the beginning, he didn’t know that the man who he killed on the crossroad was his own father and the woman he married was his mother, he can’t take full responsibility for it. Some may say that since it was his action that caused the tragic outcome, it’s part of his fault, however, based on the storyline, Ancient Greece believed that the prophecy could not be changed, so no matter what actions was brought upon in the past, future will not be effected. Accordingly, although Oedipus is the one who, with his free will, left his village to find his true identity and to find the secret about his birth, even those actions were caused because his fate was decided already.
If there were one person who can be blamed for this matter, it would be the prophet. In the famous phrase, ‘Ignorance is a bliss,’ it describes how it’s better for a person to not be aware of something. So although the fate for Oedipus would have been the same, process of how he would have known about his fate might have been different. For example, if he didn’t hear about the prophecy from the prophet, he wouldn’t have left his village to find his true identity. He could have been killed without him knowing about his ‘crime.’ That would have been a better and more righteous punishment for him.
The main difference between free will and fate is that free will is something one has the full responsibility whereas fate doesn’t. Because fate is always absolute, one cannot do anything to make a difference. Oedipus was tragically, blindfolded about his fate throughout the play; which makes him more vulnerable. The Audiences know that his choice of action won’t change his life. However, with being unconscious about his upcoming misfortune, he doesn’t even know he committed a crime. What difference does his action make if the ending will always end up in the same situation? What point is there for him to make a change when it’s simply impossible? The exact definition of guilty is “Responsible for a reprehensible act,’ and as I mentioned in the previous part, Oedipus can’t have full responsible for his…