The Role of Fate in Oedipus Rex Essay

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In Oedipus Rex, fate is something that unavoidably befalls two characters. The gods decide Oedipus and Jocasta’s fate even before they know it. Trying to avoid destiny is pointless because no matter what, it will catch up to you where ever you are. It is often thought that you can change your destiny, but in reality our fate was put into action the day we were born. Throughout the play, Oedipus tries to change his fate. When he confirms through two messengers and an oracle that he is destined to marry his mother and kill his father, he completely panics. He knows that is something he definitely wants to avoid, so he decided he would attempt to change his fate. But at that time, he did not realize that your fate is your fate and it…show more content…
In this instance, Sophocles proves that you cannot change your fate because it has already been decided. The gods knew that Oedipus would try and run away and that was part of the fulfillment of his fate. But Oedipus is not the only character that had his fate rule over his own plans. Jocasta, Oedipus’s mother and wife also tried to run from her fate. When she had her son Oedipus, she and her husband found out the prophesy of their son. They also understood the pain that would be inflicted upon them because of their son. An oracle told them the horrid future of what Oedipus would have ahead of them, so Jocasta did the only thing she could think of to avoid it. Jocasta thought the only way she could run from her fate was by disposing of her son. She would rather have abandoned her son than faced the future that was ahead of her no matter what the cost. So when Oedipus was born she took him and pinned his ankles together and left him at the top of a hill. We know that, because eventually two messengers admitted to seeing and being a part of bringing Oedipus to his adoptive parents. Jocasta thought by doing this she was running away from her fate and avoiding it. As soon as she walked down from the hill where she left him, she thought she would never have to worry about that again. But fate intervened. Fate refuses to be stopped. Even Jocasta admits this statement, “No skill in the world, nothing human can penetrate the future"
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