Essay Oedipus and Play

Submitted By mmurphy448
Words: 1031
Pages: 5

Matt Murphy
3/25/13
Period A
Term Paper

Fate and Free Will "Knowing too much of your future is never a good thing". There are definitely exceptions to this quote by author Rick Riordan. Had Oedipus known what would happen in his future, his life probably would've turned out for the better. When Oedipus's fate was foretold, he had to fulfill it. Fate is something that we cannot control. People argue if fate is real, or if life is what you make of it. There is no clear-cut answer. When Oedipus is not left on the mountain-top to die, this increases the chance of him fulfilling the prophecy. He did not know where he had come from, therefore he couldn't tell where he was going. No one knew that Oedipus never died, they all thought he was on a mountain somewhere. This is what leads up to the end when they find out that the prophecy has been fulfilled. If the prophecy hadn't been foretold, then Oedipus wouldn't have killed his father and married his mother. "Oedipus, who always looks to the future, not the past, cannot see the truth until after it has become plain to everyone else (Birkirts, page 1. galegroup.com)". This quote is explaining how Oedipus is totally oblivious to everything that is happening around him, and he is the last to figure it out. This could be his tragic flaw in the story. Not being able to see what is going on right in front of him contributes to his downfall. Before all of this happens, Oedipus is a child. A Shepard gave it to the king and queen of Corinth who brought up Oedipus, "swollen-foot", as their own child (Walton, page 2. galegroup.com). The king and queen of Corinth know of the prophecy that this young boy is going to fulfill, but they never inform him of it. This is another sign of how fate works. Had they told Oedipus what was going to happen to him, the prophecy would have been fulfilled. Fate and Free will are two ideas that Sophecles puts into the play that oppose each other. Sophecles will let the audience decide which one they will believe in Oedipus the King. There are a series of events that give Oedipus the choice to choose his actions throughout the story, but he always seems to choose the way that is worse for him. He has a stubborn and arrogant nature about himself that won’t let him make the right choices throughout the play. This will eventually lead to his downfall. The people that Oedipus is surrounded by see that “fate” is the source of Oedipus’s problems, but, every decision that Oedipus makes shows the audience that it is he who is causing the problems for himself. Oedipus shows us that he is responsible for his actions because at the end of the play, he says, "Now loathed by the gods, son of the mother I defiled coupling in my father’s bed, spawning lives in the loins that spawned my wretched life. What grief can crown this grief? It's mine alone, my destiny-I am Oedipus!" (Sophocles 1492). Oedipus clearly admits that he slept with his own mother in his father’s bed. He might believe that it was destiny, but he still feels guilty and horrible for it. Oedipus sees his mistakes at the end of the play when he states, "...I was so wrong, so wrong" (Sophocles 1557). Oedipus does take the blame, but there are other people that can be blamed for this horrific string of events throughout his life. Laius and Jocasta, his biological parents, are another two people that can be blamed. They were warned about the prophecy very early on, and they had a plan to get rid of baby Oedipus. He was to be pinned down to a mountain to be left to die. They were very careless in their effort to make sure that he was left on the…