The Role Of Fate In Oedipus And A Job

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Meyer Fortes explains the two ways Greeks understood fate or moira in his work on “Oedipus and a Job”. Fortes defines fate to its original meaning of lot and portion. He found that the first aspect was impersonal and focused on the “supreme over both gods and men” (50). With this Fortes means that actions are being determined by other things beyond the individual’s control like gods. The impersonal aspect could also be considered as the deterministic view of fate. The second aspect was individual, being that each person has a “particular apportionment of good and evil. . . which is decided at birth” (Fortes 50). Forte means to say that the individual’s good and evil is given to them at birth. Yet, Fortes speaks directly about Oedipus adding that, “an individual’s fate is in part determined by the fate of his parents and in turn affects that of his offspring” (50). Here Fortes is trying to say that there were so many different things that took shape of Oedipus’ life and that of his offspring’s. At the very beginning Oedipus’ life took shape because of Laius and Jocasta, first they his life formed but later they tried to take in away because of an oracle. As Oedipus’ life continued he would make decisions that would ultimately lead him to his own demise. Finally the decisions that Oedipus made in his lifetime would negatively affect his children. Kirkwood Gordon M. Kirkwood believes that there are three types of oracles, but in his writing, “Oracles and Dramaturgy,” he only
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