Fate vs. Free Will
The past, present, and future play a crucial role in the development of a character. In the tragedy, “Oedipus The King”, fate and free will are powerful keys to Oedipus’s future. Sophocles began in medias res. This focused on Oedipus’s choices as a character rather than the prophecies shown before. Oedipus was a tragic hero who begins with prosperity, however later this prosperity turns into poverty thus leading him to self-recognition. Oedipus the king discovers prophecies which impact his life heavily. However it was the choices he made that determined his future. Free will allowed Oedipus to explore his own choices. Although fate predetermined his future, free will was the driving force which truly dictated his downfall through his human emotions and flawed actions.
Free will is the foundation of Oedipus’s emotions. After Tiresias, the prophet, revealed that the King himself is the curse and the murderer of King Lauis, Oedipus became defensive. His hubris came on full throttle as he defended his complex ego. The prophecy threatened his power. Therefore he denied all accusations. The truth seemed blind to his eyes. His stubbornness prevented him to see the light. It was his ability to make his own decisions which enabled his emotions to refuse the truth. He promised to take the burden of his people, however failed to do so. He could not grasp his responsibility as king because he was hand cuffed to his emotions, which led him to make the wrong decisions. Instead of taking responsibility, Oedipus accuses Teritias and Creon for unleashing a malevolent lie against him. Oedipus lusts for power and control, and feels threatened by the people that surrounds him. Sophocles instills fear in Oedipus as Jocasta testifies. Sophocles creates many other prophecies to ignite curiosity in Oedipus which ultimately changed his decision. Oedipus initiates to examine his own life. While the other characters tried to quell his search for the truth, he made a powerful decision to carry on his quest. Oedipus stated, “I must know my birth, no matter how common it may be-I must see my origins face-to-face.” His zeal and determination to discover the truth led to his tragedy. ...