Oedipus Rex Essay

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“Crossroads, and hidden glade, oak and the narrow way at the crossroads, that drank my father’s blood offered you by my hands, do you remember still what I did as you looked on, and what I did when I came here?” (Oedipus Rex, 1575-1580). Precisely placed at the crossroads of fate and autonomy, Oedipus struggles to define what, exactly, is fate and what, exactly, is left to his own discretion; Oedipus Rex challenges the common thought of Greek Society. Transcending more than one thousand years, questions often posed within the context of this play come to light in high school classrooms across America. What is seemingly an ineffective, antiquated piece of literature from Ancient Greece, actually should serve as a piece of required reading …show more content…

Sophocles, through his writing, begins to engage in a contemporary debate of the time period: fate versus free will. Philosophers of ancient Greece would often debate whether or not the gods had control over one’s life, and Sophocles entertains all aspects of this debate. Through the use of a meticulously crafted plot, humanity appears to have solved the issue prophesied at the birth of Oedipus. Ultimately, however, Sophocles demonstrates the revolving way in which preordination of action ultimately comes to fruition. This is epitomized when Oedipus is met by King Laius, his father, at the crossroads. When Oedipus is faced with the decision of whether or not to kill the man in front of him, he fulfills the prophesy which had been placed upon him before his birth. While this concept might seem like an ancient event that leads to an archaic discussion, it still invades relevant, personal philosophy of the world. The high school years require each student to arrive at a crossroads in their own life. Decisions permeate their existence. Behind everything, each student has to arrive at a conclusion as to who is the driving force behind each decision; is it themselves or is a higher power commanding everything to happen? This debate allows students to expand their thought in order to engage a metaphysical debate relevant to discussions of society. Sophocles uses the plot of the play to teach a lesson

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