Oedipus Essay

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Oedipal Conflict: Fate or a Fallen King? What determines a man’s character? Does fate decide a man’s destiny, or does the course and consequence of one’s life result from the paths and choices that man makes? Can one’s destiny be changed by traveling different life roads and making alternate choices, or is the battle of free will versus determinism uncompromising ground, with both sides claiming absolute power? Free will is, in itself, a far-reaching ideal that exemplifies the essence of what mankind can be when he determines his own fate. Determinism, on the other hand, credits divine or supernatural forces with a predetermined destiny and fate that cannot by actions be manipulated by mankind. By nature, it has been the desire of man to avoid the perils that fate holds and thus he unceasingly attempts to thwart fate and the will of the divine. Within the principle of determinism, this outright contention to divine mandate is blasphemous and considered sin. This contention and the concept of determinism is a common thread through the tapestry of Greek and Classical Literature. A manifest example of this was perhaps the most recognized character in the number of Greek tragedies of Sophocles, the infamous Oedipus the King, a man who attempted to defy fate, and subsequently committed heinous sin. It would appear that from birth, Oedipus had no control over the outcome of his life. The god Apollo prophesied that within the course of history, Oedipus would slay his father, bed his mother, and come to ruin as a result of these abominations. His father, King Laios, attempted to impede the fulfillment of this shameful prophecy by killing Oedipus in infancy. From his shocking beginnings through the revelation of his destiny, fate intervenes when Oedipus is saved from Laioss’ wrath as a child, when Oedipus happens upon the fork in the road where he unknowingly kills his

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