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In the play Oedipus the King by Sophocles, Oedipus was a true victim of fate.

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Introduction

Sees 1 Megan Sees Mrs. Boggio AP Literature 17 November 2011 Does Something Out There Determine Your Fate? Among the first thing a historian discovers in his study of early civilization are records of people's belief, or faith, in powers greater than themselves, and their desire to understand what causes these people to act. Some believe in free will while others believe in fate or destiny (Nortwick). In the play Oedipus the King by Sophocles, Oedipus was a true victim of fate. Gods and goddesses were believed to be responsible for the wonders of science, and the fantasies of human nature; therefore, according to the facts of his story, Oedipus was a true victim of fate for several reasons. Laius and Jocasta, the childless king and queen of Thebes, were told by the god Apollo that their son would kill his father and marry his mother, having children of his own with his mother, blinding himself, and finally death. The logic of Oedipus' misbehavior is actually quite obvious, and Oedipus' father, King Laius, also has a similar attitude and misbehavior. ...read more.

Middle

Together they had four children, and Oedipus' awful fate had been fulfilled, all without his knowledge (Parada). The Plays begin with a plague that destructs the city of Thebes, and Oedipus sets out to find the cause. At length, he discovers that he himself is the cause; he was guilty of both murder Sees 3 and incest. When he realizes this, the utter shock and disgust of the horrific situation causes Oedipus to blind himself with the pins from Jocasta's dress (Sophocles). According to some people, this was the retribution he paid for his crime, but others would argue that Oedipus had no choice in the matter and simply had fulfilled his destiny (Nagle). The later argument seems to be more convincing because Oedipus does not consciously know of what he was doing at the time, meaning his crime was not entirely premeditated. A person cannot criticize ignorance no more than someone can sensibly attack good intentions (Nortwick). Oedipus was both truly unaware of what he had done and had no desire to harm whom he had thought to be his parents. ...read more.

Conclusion

His fate was not one that can either be swallowed or simply pushed aside. This is the reason why he ran from fate. But ultimately his attempt was a disastrous one, and he suffered severe consequences. His town suffered the punishment for his physical crime, and he himself was the embodied sufferer for the spiritual crime (Parada). Determinism maintains that Oedipus should not have attempted to outwit them because he could not. He went against the gods because he willed his own end and the means by which to achieve it (Nortwick). His suffering is a sign to any person who would try to do things beyond his own means because he is doomed to fail in the attempt and will consequently suffer some type of repercussion for it. The question is whether or not a life of freedom is worth the risk, and most people answer this as "no." Oedipus, unlike most people, answered "yes", and because of that his escape failed, he suffered much more greatly than most people (Nortwick). ...read more.

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