Examples Of Free Will In Oedipus The King

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Robert Boyce Eng 190 Short Essay February 3, 2013 Oedipus and the Will of the Gods Free will, or one's ability to make choices that are unconstrained by outside factors, is a controversial issue that arises in the play Oedipus Rex. While it may appear that Oedipus was making his own conscious decisions throughout the play, his destiny was already predetermined and inevitable because the prophecies of the oracles speak for the gods which control the overall destiny of the people. Oedipus' downfall was not a result of moral fault. Instead, his downfall was due to Oedipus simply not knowing enough of the truth which led him to make decisions he thought would disprove the prophecies but in reality would lead him into a predetermined chain of events with a catastrophic ending. Oedipus' downfall can also be contributed to sudden reversal and recognition which played a substantial role in Jocasta's suicide and Oedipus' self-blinding. The lack of free will is associated with the inevitable chain of events that took place, along with the peripeteia and anagnorisis, which led to Oedipus' downfall and thus, a catastrophic and tragic ending. Along the way, the peripeteia and anagnorisis significantly affect character and plot which are used to, in the end, invoke pity and fear in the audience. In the play, it seemed as if every decision…show more content…
However, he was unaware that he had just murdered Laius, king of Thebes, who also happened to be his own father. After this act, Oedipus had fulfilled two prophecies, that he was the murderer of both his own father and Laius. Once again, Oedipus could not have been following his own will because he did not knowingly murder both the king of Thebes and his father. Instead, it must have been the will of the gods because this specific sequence of events is highly unlikely to have happened by

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