Character Is Destiny

2530 Words Sep 2nd, 2011 11 Pages
“Character is Destiny” is a phrase associated with Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher of the 6th century BC who is recognized as one of the most significant philosophers before Socrates and Plato. Unfortunately, very little is known about his life other than what can be gathered from his own statements. Heraclitus lived in Ephesus, an important city on the Ionian coast of Asia Minor, not far from Miletus, the birthplace of philosophy. Ancient biographies of him consist of nothing more than inferences or imaginary constructions based on his sayings (Graham). However, the renowned philosopher Frederick Nietzsche, who drew upon the work of Heraclitus for inspiration, claims that Heraclitus believed “that a person's character is innate and …show more content…
Though Apollo spurned him and sent him away, first he revealed to Oedipus that “You are fated to couple with your mother, you will bring a breed of children into the light no man can bear to see – you will kill your father, the one who gave you life!” (Sophocles 638). Like Larius, Oedipus did everything he could to prevent his terrible fate. Upon hearing this prophecy, Oedipus fled from the city of Corinth and vowed never to return as long as Polybus and Merope, who he believed to be his parents, were still alive. As Oedipus is leaving the city he encounters a horse drawn chariot that forces him off the road. As the chariot goes by, Oedipus hits the driver in anger and the man swings back. Oedipus hits him with a blow that knocks him out of the chariot, and the man falls dead to the ground (Sophocles 638-639). Unbeknown to Oedipus, the man he killed was his real father. After this, Oedipus continues his travels, coming to the city of Thebes. Here people are facing great misfortune. King Laius had been killed, the city is suffering from a plague, and they are at the mercy of The Sphinx, who was causing destruction because no one was able to solve her riddle. Oedipus solves the riddle and puts an end to the monster’s reign. In their joy the people of Thebes name Oedipus their king and present
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