Destiny, Fate, Free Will and Free Choice in Oedipus the King - Role of Fate

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The Role of Fate in Oedipus the King In Oedipus the King, one can easily see the tragedy that comes when Oedipus lives out fate, although not of his own intentions. Oedipus did everything in his own power in order to keep the prophecies from being fulfilled. One might even say that Oedipus ran from fate. Webster defines tragedy as "a medieval narrative poem or tale typically describing the downfall of a great man". Oedipus the King is certainly a tragedy, and as Dr. Lucas states in his blog, Character V. Fate, it is the definitive tragedy (p.2). It is difficult to see Oedipus as a "bad" man. In order for the story to be considered a tragedy, Oedipus must have been a "great" man. Of course he made some poor choices, but most of his…show more content…
Of course it is not possible to completely absolve Oedipus from blame, but one can certainly understand much of his wrongdoings that he later so severely punished himself for. Dr. Lucas says in Character V. Fate that Oedipus "ultimately takes responsibility for his actions" ( Lucas p. 2). Only a great man would take responsibility for a wrongdoing that he had been able to get away with for so long. It had been years before when Oedipus killed Laius. He was able to marry and have children with Jacosta. Oedipus felt that it was his duty as King to uncover the reason behind the plague that was hurting the people in his Kingdom. Oedipus took responsibility and probably punished himself more than Creon or any other would have. While living in ignorance to the sins that Oedipus had committed Oedipus could see and serve as King. He chose to blind himself when he learned the truth. The prophecies that he had been willing to forsake his homeland for had come true without Oedipus even realizing it. He left home to protect his birth father, whom he had loved. By not allowing Oedipus to know the truth of his ancestry, his family had opened the door for his fall. Revermann also says "Oedipus is indeed trapped by these two old men" (Revermann p. 4). Oedipus lived without knowing what he was doing. The truth was too difficult for Oedipus to deal with. He had tried so hard to avoid the horrific prophecies, and fell right into them. He believed that he had a choice, but Oedipus did
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