Oedipus the King
Critical Lens Essay It has actually been kept in mind that, “Life is like a video game of cards. The hand you are dealt is determinism; the method you play it is free will.” Fate is often believed to be predetermined by a greater being; it is inevitable. Free will is the complete reverse of fate, an individual has the liberty to select and decide his fate. In the quote “the hand you are dealt” can be seen as fate, and “the way you play” is free will. In Oedipus the King, Sophocles reveals that fate and free choice go hand in hand. Jocasta and Laius, Oedipus’ parents, do not take note of the prediction provided by the prophet Teiresias.
He tells them their fate; the brand-new born baby will eliminate his father and wed his mom. Both Jocasta and King Laius take precautions to make certain this prediction does not happen. They rid their new born infant by sending him off to a shepherd who in turn will put him on a mountain to die. Nevertheless in the end Oedipus eliminates Laius, becomes king, and marries Queen Jocasta, simply as the oracle stated. It is free choice that makes Oedipus’ parents send him off to the mountain. Little do they understand, he is not eliminated and they still fulfilled their fate.
After Oedipus tells Jocasta about what he hears from Teiresias, Jocasta states “A prophet? Because case, rid your mind of your fear, and listen to me … there is no human being born that is endowed with prophetic power. And I can show it to you– and in a couple of words … Do not pay any attention to prophecies. If God looks for or needs anything, he will easily make it clear to us himself.” (41) She tells Oedipus that the prophecy the oracle told her about the baby she had in the past does not come through. While, Oedipus is standing right before her eyes and uses a real prediction to defend her claim.
Oedipus himself makes choices that move him one step more detailed to his ultimate fate. “Now my curse on the killer, whoever he is an only guy unknown in his crime or one amongst many, let that male drag out his life in pain, step by unpleasant step …” (various version of book around 15-16). Here, King Oedipus wishes to rid the nation of its defilement and he tries to frighten individuals into leaving. All he does is curse himself, not as soon as, however two times. Oedipus tells the people of Thebes that whoever is the killer of Laius, he is going to send him to exile in the mountains.
It is his choice to call down a curse. Regrettably, he is disgraceful once he finds out he is the killer, and sends himself to exile. Sophocles does a remarkable job at showing how stubbornness can cause an unfortunate unveiling of information. Teiresias grows impatient with Oedipus and says “You are the murderer, you are the unholy defilement of this land.” He tells him the reality after he pressures him to. When he hears this, he does not think what he is hearing; he is blind to the truth, so he mocks Teiresias.
After Teiresias is fed up with Oedipus he calls out another prediction “this man whom thou hast sought to detain with risks and warrants this long while, the rascal who killed Laius– that man is here. He passes for an alien in the land however soon shall show a Theban, native born. And yet his fortune brings him little pleasure; for blind of seeing, dressed in beggar’s weeds, for purple robes, and leaning on his staff, to an odd land he quickly shall search his way. And of the kids, prisoners of his home, He shall be proved the sibling and the sire, Of her who bare him kid and hubby both, Co-partner, and assassin of his sire.
Enter and contemplate this …” (online 444-461) Teiresias knows precisely what was to come of him. King Oedipus’ future would have been various if he was modest and took his word. If Oedipus thought that he was the killer from the very start, he would not be so surprised to find out by himself he might have slipped out of Thebes unscathed. As soon as he made that choice fate bit him back. It was his option to not think Teiresias and he suffered in pity because of it. Sophocles desires the reader to see that the more you attempt to run away from fate, the harder fate will bite you back later on.
If you are dealt cards in a game, poker for instance, the individual who deals the cards may currently understand what your fate might be; you will either win or lose. No matter just how much you attempt to trick your challengers your cards will always be the exact same. You can’t trade them back in. This works in life also, not only in Oedipus the King. One is born into a household and where and when he is born is something he will never have the ability to alter. He might trick his classmates if he repents of it, however the reality will most likely come out.