Fate Versus Free Will Fate, as described in the Oxford English Dictionary, is “The principle, power, or agency by which, according to certain philosophical and popular systems of belief, all events, or some events in particular, are unalterably predetermined from eternity.” To the western world, fate is perceived as “a sentence or doom of the gods” (Oxford). They often sought prophecies of the gods, especially from Apollo, the god of knowledge. The Greeks would seek prophecies usually when they had doubts about something, or if they were afraid or in despair. When the gods made a prophecy, the Greeks put all their faith in it and believed that it would happen. When their prophecies did come true, was it really fate that
Inability to Escape Fate Many people believe that fate has planned out their lives and despite efforts on their part what was meant to happen, will eventually happen. This belief has been handed down over the centuries from some of the first civilizations, such as the Greeks. However, not all
Contrasting the Gods in Homer’s Odyssey and the Biblical Book of Exodus Many authors have employed the religious beliefs of their cultures in literature. The deities contained in Homer’s Odyssey and in the Biblical book of Exodus reflect the nature of the gods in their respective societies. Upon examination of these two works, there are three major areas where the gods of the Greek epic seem to directly contrast the nature of the God of the Israelites: the way problems are solved, the prestige and status that separates the divine from the masses, and the extent of power among the immortal beings.
Over the centuries, the concept of fate is constantly being changed to adapt to our current way of living. In modern times the concept of fate is usually connected to the themes of love and romance. However the ancient Greeks recognized fate as an inescapable reality that shaped their lives. The famous playwright, Sophocles, adopts the idea of fate in his plays to control the character’s actions. In both plays, “Oedipus the King” and “Antigone”, the writer uses the concept of fate to show human’s inability to conquer the will of the gods.
“Gods can be evil sometimes.” In the play “Oedipus the King”, Sophocles defamed the gods’ reputation, and lowered their status by making them look harmful and evil. It is known that all gods should be perfect and infallible, and should represent justice and equity, but with Oedipus, the gods decided to destroy him and his family for no reason. It might be hard to believe that gods can have humanistic traits, but in fact they do. The gods, especially Apollo, are considered evil by the reader because they destroyed an innocent man’s life and his family. They destroyed Oedipus by controlling his fate, granting people the power of prophecy, telling Oedipus about his fate through the oracle of Apollo, and finally afflicting the people of
Greek mythology is one of the coolest things anyone could think of. The ideas of gods and goddesses coming down to earth to interact with the human race, is quite an amazing thing. In many cultures, gods are very important. The ancient greek culture is an example where mythology is very important to the people, the gods are everywhere in daily life. Yet with the made up mythology, they needed a place to begin with and the greeks are no exception, but the story of the gods beginning is very interesting.
In this paragraph will be information on Greek Gods and Goddesses. There was a governing body for the Grecians. This mythological group was very important. They were usually the reason for war and many believed that they were so superior that they would bring disease and death upon others that they dislike or the people that would try to out shine them. They were called The Olympians. There were twelve Olympians, however before I name them there actually were 13, but Hestia gave up her position for Dionysus. There was Zeus, Poseidon, Hermes, Hephatus, Hera, Demeter, Aphrodite, Athena, Artimes, Dionysus, Aries (Ares or Aris), and Apollo.” (Greek Gods and Goddesses) There was one other God that is also very important to the Olympians. His name was Hades and he was the God of the Dead. He was not considered an Olympian though because he was always to be in the Underworld. Hades had one day decided that he wanted a partner however
The Relationship between Gods and Mortals in Mythology The relationship between gods and mortals in mythology has long been a complicated topic. The gods can be generous and supportive, and also devastating and destructive to any group of humans. Mortals must respect the powers above them that cannot be controlled. The gods rule over destiny, nature, and justice, and need to be recognized and worshipped for the powerful beings as they are. Regardless of one's actions, intentions, and thoughts, the gods in Greek myth have ultimate power and the final decision of justice over nature, mortals, and even each other.
The concept of fate and the influence of gods on mortals’ lives are prominent aspects of Greek mythology. While the gods of Olympus are commonly presented as the primary manipulators of human lives, the Fates are the true creators of destiny. Gods may be able to affect human lives in monumental ways, but predetermined destiny and the Fates’ intentions ultimately reign. The gods have respect for this authority, as well, as they’re aware that a limit on their ability to intervene is necessary to maintain the order of the universe. This leaves one to question the amount of knowledge that the gods themselves have of fate, and whether they have their own free will to refrain from intervening or if they truly must submit to the authority of the Fates and their plans. The gods do have some knowledge of the Fates’ plan, but they are also wise enough to avoid too much interference and therefore don’t necessarily need to be commanded; they sometimes help guide mortals by sending them messages and symbols—and sometimes even influencing them for their own advantage—but ultimate fate cannot be avoided.
How is the idea of wyrd depicted throughout the Greeks? The Moirai are the three sisters who control one’s life, from the very moment they are born down to the length of said life and death. The sisters, known as deities, each have a specific job to do in controlling one’s fate; Clothos spins the thread of life, Lachesis controls the length of life, and Atropos chooses the form of death by cutting the thread with shears. “Three days after a child was born, it was thought that the Moirai would visit the house to determine the child's fate and life” (The Fates). According to the Greeks, nobody, mortal nor immortal, was immune to the handles the fates had on
Greek culture's ideas on fate manifested themselves largely through their mythology. The length of a person's life, they believed, was determined by the three Fates, Clotho (spinner), Lachesus (Apportioner), and the fearsome Atropos (Inflexible). These aged children of Zeus and Themis-- know to the Greeks at the Moirai--would unscrupulously spin out, measure, and cut the thread of one's life. The balance of power between these three women and their father Zeus is difficult to understand. In Book XXVI of The Iliad, we see the king of the gods fretting over the impending death of his mortal son Sarpedon. Unable to cope with the idea of his noble child's death, Zeus inquires of Hera "Shall I pluck [Sarpedon] up, now, while he's still alive... or beat him down at Patroclus' hands at last" (Iliad 16.519-21). In the end, Zeus allows Sarpedon to be slain as the Fates have willed. Though Zeus has the power to override his daughters, the great orderer of the cosmos sees that doing so in this case would be beyond reason.
Many may tell themselves, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul”, William Ernest Henley’s, Invictus. Individuals often believe life is independent of outside forces; one does not often ponder whether situations that introduce decisions or experiences are controlled by fate and the gods. In Virgil’s The Aeneid, he introduces the notion that we are all subject to the workings of fate regardless of our will or desire; this is shown through the tragic romance between Aeneas, a Trojan, and Dido, the queen of Carthage. Their love and lives are a combination of free will, fate, and the work of the gods. We are all brought into the world without choice, thus lack the will to change our destiny from birth. In the end, however it
The role of the gods/fate in human affairs is a central theme in most works of literature. In Greek literature, particularly, the will of the gods is commonly attributed to human experiences. In Oedipus the King, for instance, the oracle’s message that Oedipus will kill his father and marry his own mother suggests that he was a puppet in the hands of the gods, who manipulated the events that led to his fall. However, the character’s fate is not entirely attributable to the work of the gods. In the play, Oedipus meets his fate due to his determination to unravel the mysteries surrounding the king’s death, despite warnings by the prophet Tiresias and his wife/mother, and his quest to prove the oracles wrong in their declaration that he is
The Olympian gods shared all of mankind's virtues and faults. They were severe, punishing every unjust act, while protecting and assisting the just and the pious. They even had their own likes and dislikes which governed their behavior towards mortals. This was made very clear during the Trojan War (as portrayed in Homer's Iliad) when the gods got involved and assisted either Achaeans or Trojans, depending on whom each of them favored. The gods were vengeful but also excessively generous, while at the same time being propitiated by the material sacrifices they were offered by the faithful. The Greek deities had supernatural powers, particularly over human life, but were severely limited by the relentless force of fate (Moira).
Sophocles ' play “Oedipus Tyrannus” is an enigma. His play includes incest, murder and self-enlightenment all leading into the main theme of fate. Athenians believed that fate is not left up to man, but that is provided solely on the whims of the gods. Because of his dramatic approach to