Oedipus the King – Fate vs. Flaws

Oedipus the King– Fate vs. Defects

Essay # 1: Oedipus the King– Defects vs. Fate Sophocles links the contrasting ideas of fate and free choice throughout Oedipus the King, and conclusively leaves it to the audience to figure out the factor for the catastrophe that takes place in the story. The Oracle informs Oedipus of his destined future, which is to eventually shed his own dad’s blood and wed, along with develop kids with, his mom. As the story plays out, Oedipus comes to the awareness that he has undoubtedly satisfied the prophecy given to him.

While he has an honor to support as King of Thebes, he disgraces his people with his actions of murder and incest. Eventually, Oedipus’ character flaws are accountable for the disaster that occurs in the story, including his absence of self-discipline and anger, spontaneous choice to wed Jocasta, and self admittance of satisfying his fate. As Oedipus was making his way to Thebes, he encountered another cart in the crossway of the roadway, manned by another gentleman.

When Oedipus encountered the other carriage in the crossroad, he could have quickly disregarded the fight with this male and set about his way on his journey. Instead, he chose to listen to his own pride and battle, subsequently killing the man in the roadway, who he later on discovers is his biological dad. He exclaims, “Swinging my club in this right hand I knocked him out of his vehicle, and he rolled on the ground. I killed him. I killed them all” (Sophocles 1305, lines 286-289). His anger, along with his absence of self control, contributes greatly to the disaster.

By another analysis, it could be argued that this action of murdering his dad is explained by his fate. It ought to be kept in mind that due to the fact that Oedipus knew his fate, he was in control of his ability to prevent it. If he was not warned of his fate by the Oracle, he would have not known of his obligation to defy the chances. I think this could have led to a different result. If he had actually not left his city after getting his prophecy, he would have conclusively not been put in the circumstances that caused his supreme demise and shame.

Again, it was his choice to flee from his issues rather than facing them head on, which was clearly a mistake on his part. Secondly, as Oedipus reaches Thebes, he is presented with another choice … to become king and marry Jocasta, or to just proceed. As a reward for solving the Sphinx’s riddle and ridding Thebes of the animal, he was elected king and presented with a woman to become him queen. He understood that his fate consisted of the marriage to his mom, and if he truly intended to prevent the satisfaction of this prophecy, he needs to have remained single.

If he genuinely wished to defy his own fate, as declared by the Oracle, he might have looked further into Jocasta’s history. If he had asked the town’s individuals, and even males within the royal court, he might have pertained to the conclusion that the lady provided to him for marriage was, in reality, his own mother. Finally, Oedipus’ own admittance for causing the dreadful conclusion shows that his flaws are to be blamed. The truth that he takes responsibility for his own sorrow and his own actions concludes that fate has not played a part in the catastrophe.

Oedipus’ discussion with Creon shows an accurate view of his self confessed regret, as Creon says, “God’s will had not been completely revealed to me,” to which Oedipus replies, “But his command appears: the parricide needs to be ruined. I am that evil man” (1320, lines 210-212). While Oedipus is not the only person to blame for the disaster in the play, his belief and recognition of his defects condemns him. In conclusion, it is Oedipus’ defects: his anger, impulsiveness, and self-guilt for his actions that need to be held accountable for the disaster that happened in Oedipus the King.

It is my personal belief that while we can not alter things that are out of our control, our destiny and fate are figured out not just by our immediate actions, however by our responses to situations as well. In reality, I would even reach to claim “fate” to be a reason to give when things don’t go our way. It is simple to blame mistakes and miseries on something hidden, rather than taking obligation for our own contributions to less than ideal scenarios.

In order to prosper in life, we need to discover to own up to our own defects, which is a clear lesson given by Sophocles in his work, Oedipus the King. Regrettably, the people of this time period believed that the gods remained in complete control of their lives, and it is not likely that Oedipus learned any lessons by eventually satisfying the prophecy offered to him. Works Pointed Out Sophocles. “Oedipus the King.” X. J. Kennedy, Dana Gioia. Literature: An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Composing, Part 3: Drama. 10th Edition. Vol. Part 3: Drama. New York City: Longman, 2007.

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