Professor Dasht Peyma
Principles on Writing Research Paper
8 December 2013
An Analysis of Fate and Freewill Motif on Oedipus the King
Oedipus the King is an ancient masterpiece by Sophocles, the Greek well-praised author. The play deals with one of the most controversial and sophisticated subjects of philosophy, which is the rule of determinism over freewill. Oedipus, the King of Thebes, unwittingly kills his father and marries his own mother, and when the relationships are revealed, Jocasta, his mother hangs herself and The King blinds himself in desperate. Meanwhile in the story, Oedipus is hinted about his doom. On the other hand, Oedipus fails to avoid his destiny, even though he really tried. The two contrasting facts bring this question in mind, does Oedipus really have any role on his destiny or not?
Fate is one of the common motifs of ancient Greek myth and literature, and Oedipus the King is not an exception. This shows that fate and freewill has occupied minds of human beings for centuries. There are multiple philosophical positions taken on the subject of free will. Determinists believe that human actions are "entirely controlled by previous conditions, operating under the laws of nature" (The American Heritage New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy). Indeterminists believe humans retain freedom and spontaneity despite being somewhat influenced by pre-existing conditions (The American Heritage New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy)
There are also two schools of thought on whether freedom and determinism can coexist. Compatibilists argue that in every sense, freedom is coexistent with determinism. Incompatibilists argue that free will and determinism cannot coexist.
Two types of Incompatibilists are Libertarians and No-freedom Theorists or Hard determinists. Libertarians support the argument that humans have the capacity to choose and act freely. Libertarians reject any theories that humans are in any way...