Sophocles The Oedipus Cycle

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In Oedipus Rex and Antigone, written by Sophocles, is the tragic end of their life’s God’s will, fate, destiny, or free choice? Man is free to choose and is ultimately held responsible for his actions. In the tragedy Oedipus Rex and Antigone, the concept of both fate and free will played a vital role in Oedipus’, Antigone’s, and Creon’s destructions. Although he was a victim of fate, he was not controlled by it. Oedipus was prophesized to kill his father and marry his mother as warned by the oracle of Apollo. The prophecy would inevitably come to pass, no matter what he might have done to avoid it. His past actions were determined by fate but at the same time his actions in Thebes, he did so on out of his own will. From the beginning, Oedipus took many actions leading to his downfall, Oedipus could have waited for the plague to end, but out of compassion for his people, he had Creon go to Delphi. When he heard Apollo’s prophecy, he could have calmly investigated the murder of King Laius, but in his hastiness, he cursed the murder, and in so, cursing himself. “I pray that that man’s life be consumed in evil and wretchedness. And as for me, this curse applies no less” (Sophocles 13). Oedipus’ desire to know the truth about Laius’ murder and the mystery surrounding his birth, led Oedipus to his realization of his doings. Although multiple people tried to stop him from pursuing the truth, he is unable to. Once he realized that his fate had come to pass he felt cursed by it. Even though Oedipus was a victim of fate, he gouged out his own eyes which were an act of free will. Oedipus was guilty of marrying his mother and killing his father, but it seems that his true sin was that his attempt to raise himself to level of the gods by trying to escape his fate. Oedipus knows that he must be punished for his sins, accepting full responsibility for his acts. Oedipus’

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