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Which Path Shall I Choose?

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Introduction

Ann Baucom Shirley Kahlert English 1B Which Path Shall I Choose? An individual's future is determined by a myriad of decisions, directing the individual down any number of branching paths. Those decisions constitute consideration, evaluation and resolution - all acts of free will. One is not fated to think, one simply does. "One could always have experienced or acted somewhat differently from the way one did."(Child 40) Upon learning of the prophecy that he was to kill his father and marry his mother, Oedipus "himself ran away to avoid fulfilling the prophecy." (Biddle 768) He made this decision freely, believing that if he left, the prophecy could not come true. The other path, which he could have taken, would have been to confront the prophecy. His, believed, parents did not help him make this decision. ...read more.

Middle

He was forced to consider statements made to him about himself. When Iocaste retold the story of Laios murder, "By marauding strangers where three highways meet" (Oedipus Rex 2.193), Oedipus expresses "how strange a shadowy memory crossed my mind."(Oedipus Rex 2.203) He starts to assess the events and continues to put together the puzzle. Oedipus confesses to killing a man at the highway. He was enraged because he was "forced off the road." (Oedipus Rex 2.284) With malice in his heart, he chose to harm another human. As Marcoulesco comments, "Free will is the capacity to choose among courses of action... and also to assume full moral responsibility." (420) As the pressure builds within Oedipus to discover the truth about Laios' murder, a messenger with news of his, believed, father arrives. ...read more.

Conclusion

He had found the answers to all the questions and now had do deal with the information that he had obtained. He resolved himself to do darkness: "No more, No more shall you look on the misery about me, the horrors of my own doing! Too long you have known the faces of those whom I should never have seen, too long been blind to those for whom I was searching! From this hour, go in darkness!"(Oedipus Rex IV.1226-1230) As Oedipus plunges the brooches in his eyes, he commits the final act of free will. He accepts his role in what has happened and ultimately thinks that this is a tribute to his sins. "Belief in free will amounts to the conviction that, as individuals, human beings are endowed with the capacity for choice of action, for decision among alternatives, and specifically that, given an innate moral sense, man can freely discern good and evil and choose the good, though he often does not. ...read more.

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