The Role Of Free Will In Oedipus The King

Decent Essays

By definition fate is “the development of events beyond a person’s control, regarded as determined by a supernatural power.” The key concept being the fact that events are beyond a person’s control. And if they are beyond our control, then how can anyone be held accountable for any crime they’ve committed or bad decision they’ve made. But if we throw the idea of fate out the window, then we are left with only free will controlling our lives. So in the story of Oedipus the King whether or not Oedipus is at fault for killing his father and sleeping with his mother is completely dependent on what side wins out in the battle of fate versus free will.
At Oedipus’s birth “There was an oracle once that came to Laius, and it told him that it was fate …show more content…

It wasn’t your fault you were spinning, but it was still you who overcorrected it and ran it off the road. So overall both of you contributed to your car being totalled and lying in a ditch, even if the other driver initiated the situation. Oedipus’s life played out essentially the same way. Oedipus may be the one who killed his father and slept with his mother, but it was the prophet who put the whole thing in motion. If King Laius and Jocasta hadn’t known of their son’s “fate” then they would’ve never have sent Oedipus away, and the whole story wouldn’t of happened. And if we’re not putting the blame on the prophet then the next up would be his parents because they are the ones who sent their son away to be killed in the first place. Then after them is the messenger for not killing him like his parents requested, and after that the shepherd who didn’t take Oedipus to a far away country like the messenger assumed he would but gave him to a family in a nearby town. So even if it can partially be blamed on Oedipus, the burden is not all his to bare.
So whether Oedipus is at fault or not depends totally on the existence of fate, and even if fate doesn’t exist and he decided on his own to do these things he can still only be held partially accountable because his story had been set in motion by many other people before

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