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Theme Of Fate In Oedipus The King

Decent Essays
In Oedipus the King, Sophocles leads the story with two things: fate and free will. Throughout the play, there are examples of both, making either a probable cause of the occurrences in the narrative. On one hand, many of the choices made by the characters have direct side effects which help the story progress. On the other hand, there are seemingly random events which are very important and could be a result of destiny. The question of fate or free will applies to the three main factors which influence the plot: the characters, the gods, and prophecies.
There were many decisions made by the characters throughout the story which, if altered, would have drastically changed the outcome of the play. The shepherd made the choice to send baby Oedipus away with an old man of another kingdom: “I pitied the little man, master, hoped he’d take him off to his own country” (Sophocles 1301-1302). If Oedipus had been raised in Thebes instead of Corinth, he may not have fulfilled the prophecy. Had he been raised with Jocasta, she would have at least recognized his face. She most likely would have killed herself before marrying her son, for that is how she reacted in the play when she learned to whom she was wedded: “...[W]e saw the woman hanging by the neck...” (Sophocles 1395). There were other decisions that Oedipus could have made along the way as well, which would have changed the outcome of his life. One example is his choice to continue his investigation into Laius’s death, even
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