Oedipus Essay

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Many people believe that every human being has a destiny, or pre-determined path of life that cannot be avoided. However, others presume that every occurrence in one’s life is decided by the choices one makes, and that destiny does not exist. In Sophecles’ Oedipus the King, Oedipus has been cursed to marry his mother and to kill his father. Despite countless attempts by Oedipus and his parents to redirect his destiny, Oedipus ends up murdering his father and marrying his mother. No matter what one does or chooses to do in life, one’s destiny cannot be escaped. One example of an inescapable destiny is when Oedipus does not die as an infant. Apollo’s oracle prophesized that Oedipus would “lie with my own mother and take on my hands the blood of my own father.” (Sophecles, 459, Lines 1087-1088). Oedipus’ parents feared the prophecy, so they “…pierced and fettered,” (460, lines 1128-1129) his ankles and gave him to one of Laius’ shepherds. They told the shepherd to kill Oedipus in attempt to prevent the prophecy from coming true. The shepherd pitied Oedipus and gave him to Merope, the wife of Polybus, who was the king of Corinth. They took Oedipus as their own child, sparing his life. Even though Oedipus’ parents tried to have him killed, Oedipus did not perish because had he died, his destiny would not have been fulfilled. Another example is when Oedipus kills his father. In effort to avoid completing the prophecy, Oedipus left his supposed parents and fled from Corinth. He gets into an argument with a charioteer and kills him, along with the rest of the riders. One of the riders who had been killed was Laius, Oedipus’ father and King of Thebes at the time. One reason Oedipus fled from Corinth was to get away from his supposed father to reduce the chance of killing him. Oedipus’ anger and carelessness caused him to kill his father Laius, fulfilling part of his

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