The Concept of Fate: Oedipus the King, The Iliad, and Hamlet

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COMPARE THE CONCEPT OF FATE IN OEDIPUS THE KING WITH THAT IN AT LEAST TWO OTHER TEXTS (THE ILIAD AND HAMLET). The concept and idea of fate is explored in the texts Oedipus the King, The Iliad and Hamlet. Fate can be described as being an unavoidable predetermined event or destiny. (Qtd. in Unabridged (v 1.1). Random House, Inc. 14 May. 2007. <>). All three texts explore the idea of fate as being the main driving force behind the series of events that occur in the texts, and all three illustrate how inescapable destiny is. In Oedipus the King, the main protagonist Oedipus already knows his fate as it was predicted to him, but he tries to change it unsuccessfully, because it is predetermined and there was nothing he could have done to change it. Homer’s The Iliad too showcases how fate is inevitable for the city of Troy, Achilles and Hector. Even though the characters try to change their destiny it is clear that it is predestined. William Shakespeare’s Hamlet also ascertains the idea of fate as the driving force behind occurrences. Hamlet’s fate is sealed, as is his Uncle Claudius’, Polonius and Laertes. Nothing can be done to change fate. Sophocles’ play Oedipus the King explores the concept of fate as being a driving force between the events that unfold within the play. In the play Oedipus’ parents (King Lauis and Queen Jocasta) send him away to be killed because of prophecy that tells that Oedipus would one day kill his father (Laius) and marry his mother Jocasta. "He'll be revealed a brother and a father to his children in his house, husband and son to her who gave him birth; wife-sharer and the killer of his father." (Sophocles, line 457) However the servant did not kill Oedipus instead giving him to a childless King Polybus and Queen Merope of Corinth, who then raised him. Oedipus

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