Oedipus Rex– Sophocles’ play
In Sophocles’ play, “Oedipus Rex,” the concept of a fated man is apparent; highlighting the consequences of free will. Adamant in their belief of free will many people live out their lives uninformed that the free choice which governs their lives is indeed fated. Although Oedipus’ life is assisted by fate it is his own free choice that adds to his bad judgment, stubbornness and blind rage and will ultimately cause his downfall. Oedipus Rex is the story of a Theban king who remains in search of the murderer or murderers of his predecessor King Laios in order to lift a pester off the city of Thebes.
Throughout his investigation Oedipus learns that he is the looked for murderer of King Laius, his birth daddy. Not only has he eliminated his daddy however he has actually wed and produced children with his mom, Queen Jocasta. Frightened by his actions, Oedipus blinds and eliminates himself from Thebes. Both these acts were prophesied to Laios, Jocasta and Oedipus years previously at different times in their lives. Although the fate of prophecy caused the scenarios surrounding Oedipus’ actions it is his own free will that brings about his poor judgment.
Oedipus’ bad judgement is highlighted at various times throughout the play. An example of bad judgment is when Oedipus decides to face his parents, King Polybus and Queen Merope of Corinth, about his identity after listening to the weeps of an intoxicated stranger claiming Polybus, Oedipus’ adopted dad] not to be Oedipus’s dad. Although his moms and dads attempt to assure him by “calling it all the rants of a slanderous fool (729 ). Oedipus in dissatisfied with their answer and decides to seek an answer from the god at Delphi.
Instead of getting the answer he looked for, Oedipus is outlined the prophecy on his life. He then make the impetuous choice to leave Corinth and never return. The choice to leave Corinth quickly shows Oedipus’ poor judgment. There is no real reason for Oedipus to leave Corinth, whether he remained or left it was his fate to kill his father. Maybe he would have done better by choosing to remain and investigate his identity from within Corinth. There are some scholars who think since the fate of Oedipus Rex is predetermined then so are his choices.
Anne Paolucci, author of “The Oracles Are Dumb Or Cheat states “All theses so called hoices’ are in truth effects of a choice made long previously (242 ). Just stated Paolucci thinks not just the fate of Oedipus however likewise his decision making is predetermined. Paolucci makes a strong case, nevertheless she needs to be reminded although Oedipus’ life is fated, he is offered free choice to make his own choices. However, Paolucci’s belief makes a strong argument for Oedipus’ decision to wed Jocasta especially when the questions surrounding their marriage are: why would anybody pick to wed somebody they understand really little bit, if anything at all, about
Was this marital relationship one of convenience and obligation for Oedipus and or Jokasta Oedipus did not need to marry Jocasta, there are a number of choices which he could have otherwise made, for example picking to get to know Iokaste prior to their marriage or selecting to marry somebody altogether various. Although Sophocles does not broaden on the reasons for the marriage, aside from to state that it is fated, it appears that Oedipus decided to wed Jocasta easily, yet making this marital relationship another example of poor judgment for Oedipus. Along with working out poor judgment Oedipus is likewise persistent.
Oedipus’s refusal to think Teiresias, Apollo’s blind seer, is proof of his stubbornness. Unconsciously to him, the oracle has actually been fulfilled, however because he is too persistent to think Tiresias. Oedipus is blind to the fact that he is the one who has killed King Laios. When the truth of his regret exists to him by Teiresias persistent Oedipus will not even consider it. His rejection develops into blind rage and he accuses Teiresias of being a false prophet and plotting with Kreon [Oedipus’ bro in law] to topple him and steal his kingdom. According to Robert L.
Kane, in “Prediction and Understanding in the Oedipus Rex,” he not just fails to acknowledge the reality when it is positioned before his eyes (i. e. his regret), but winds up and “seeing what is not there” (e. g., the treason of Creon). The fact is right in front of Oedipus, however his stubbornness is playing tricks on him and trigger him to become unreasonable. The pattern of stubbornness continues with in Oedipus. Against the recommendations of his wife Jocasta, Oedipus stubbornly sends for the shepherd who can address the riddle of his identity along with provide an eyewitness account of the murder of King Laius.
Is it fate or free will that prompts Oedipus to look for a response to his parentage He need to understand that either way this is a response that will forever change the course of his life. In “On The Misinterpreting of Oedipus Rex, E. R. Dodds answers this question when he writes “The instant cause of Oedipus’s destroy is not Fate’ or the gods’- no oracle stated that he needs to discover the truth (43 ). To put it simply it is Oedipus’ own free will that ruins him with the fact. In an attempt to hinder Oedipus from unnecessarily continuing with his examination Iokaste debates the extent to which the oracles can be relied on.
Iokaste argues Therefore Apollo never caused that kid to kill his dad, and it was not Laois’ fate to die at the hands of his boy, as he had actually feared. This is what prophets and predictions are worth! (727 ). Iokaste wants to be uncertain of the prophets and their prophecies because it indicates the prediction that was to befall her family never occurred. Regrettably for Iokaste as she hears Oedipus retell the same prophecy that was bied far to her and Laois, she understands the prophecy has actually become a reality. Her partner King Laios has died at the hands of their son who is now the husband she is attempting to factor with.
Iokaste pleads with Oedipus when she says “For God’s love, let us have no more questioning! Is your life nothing to you My own pain is enough for me to bear (737 ). Iokaste is aware of the effects that will come from Oedipus’ stubbornness and ruthless examining, she asks him to leave well enough alone but Oedipus is so persistent, he can not hear what his wife is stating to him. His action to her pleas are” I will not listen; the reality must be made known (737 ). Oedipus’ stubbornness dictates the reality needs to be informed no matter the consequence.
Oedipus’actions set in motion the events which cause satisfying his fateful prophecy. Instead of believing clearly, Oedipus has habit of acting and or responding rashly which at times leads to blind rage. Oedipus’ “possibility encounter with King Laios on the roadway to Thebes is a look into his blind rage. Even Though his murder of King Laios is predicted and this coincidental conference of the 2 is a scene set by the gods in order protect the fate of these two guys, nothing forces Oedipus to eliminate King Laios. Oedipus can choose to ignore the dispute with the king and his traveling celebration, nevertheless in a fit of blind rage Oedipus eliminates them all.
Oedipus acknowledges his blind rage when he states “I struck him in my rage. The old man saw me and brought his double goad down upon my head as I came abreast. He was paid back, and more! … I eliminated him” (730 ). Due to the fact that Oedipus gives in to his rage the king is eliminated and the prediction is taken into motion. There are scholars which claim that it is fate which eliminated King Laios due to the fact that the oracle stated it, it must take place. In “Oedipus Rex: The Oracles and the Action Herbert S. Weil suggests “Oedipus should kill his daddy, and any flaws of character can not make him dedicate this act.
They can just assist produce a character constant with the inevitable (340 ). Cleary Weil thinks prediction is the cause of King Laios’s death not a fast tempered Oedipus. In Contrast Kane mentions” if Apollo set the phase for Oedipus’ downfall, it was Oedipus himself who, by taking the road to Thebes and eliminating the stranger,’furnished the raw product out of which providence made a parricide (196 ). Although the gods have actually handed down their fate to Oedipus, Oedipus’ killing of his daddy give evidence to the prediction and leads to parricide.
Not just does this act exposes Oedipus’ temper and absence of self-control which sets him on the roadway to fulfilling the prediction of his fate but it also causes his ultimate failure. Oedipus’ supreme failure does not come from his actions alone however from his illogical and persistent pursuit for the fact. Yet, he continues to rave about in his stubbornness. In a fit of rage Oedipus gouges out his eyes when it is revealed that his wife is genuinely his mom. Then in his stubbornness he requires Kreon to exile him to a land where no human voice can hear him. Is it not apparent to Oedipus that it is his freely made choices which lead to his downfall
May he have actually taken the advice of Teiresias and or Iokaste the real nature of his actions might have never been exposed and Iokaste might have never taken her own life. By the end of the play Oedipus clearly acknowledges his responsibility for satisfying the prophecy when he confesses “the god was Apollo. he brought my sick, ill fate upon me. However the blinding hand was my own! (745 ). Here, Oedipus is mentioning that while his life was fated, his reaction to this fate was his own free will. Although life is guided by fate it is one’s own free will their successes and or downfalls.