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

1318 Words6 Pages
A Paradox: Oedipus's Free will in the Play Oedipus Rex William Shakespeare once wrote, "Who can control his fate?" (Othello, Act v, Sc.2). A hero and leader must acknowledge above all else his honor, and the pride of his image. In ancient Greek beliefs, a hero was a man who stood taller than the rest; he was able to better any conflict. He did this not for himself or for any token award that may be given to him, but for the security of his fellow man. Physical strength and superior wit are the two major characteristics of a hero. These characteristics may be destined; but the use of them to help his fellow man is will. Sophocles's short play Oedipus Rex is a tale of a hero's ascent to King and tragic fall. The young Prince…show more content…
You shall see how I stand by you, as I should, to avenge the city and the city's god, and not as though it were for some distant friend, but for my own sake, to be rid of evil... (9) The above quote shows that Oedipus is a good man, with good intentions. He chooses to stay and to protect the town of Thebes for no reason other than the protection of man. Not only is Oedipus willing to protect but also to avenge the gods that have wronged the town. Staging Oedipus's discontent for the gods and the desire to right their wrongs. In a sense Oedipus was ready to take on the gods. This is a choice that Oedipus has to make by himself alone, for that proclamation almost ensures death of any mortal. This is the mentality of a hero in his mind he knows he controls the path of his life; there is no knife to him, forcing this upon him. Another factor showing Oedipus's free will is his horrible realization at the end of the play. Oedipus's search for the answers to the murder of King Laius brings him to a horrific truth. He finds truth because he never relinquished the search for the murderer. His pride (or any other weakness or fault) is one the ancient Greeks called hamarita. This fault of Oedipus can be looked at as his tragic flaw. Oedipus is brought to blindness not by an outside source, but from his own determination, heroism and allegiance to his city. His flaw reiterates the fact

More about Destiny, Fate, Free Will and Free Choice in Oedipus the King - The Paradox of Free Will

Open Document