22 Mar 2022


Oedipus: Fated or Not

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Academic level: College

Paper type: Essay (Any Type)

Words: 496

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Sophocles’ Oedipus is completely fated. He simply has no free choice.” Agree or disagree with this statement.

I have chosen this phrase from the famous story to discuss as it sounds rather contradictive and interesting to me. This claim has already become a well-known aphorism which means that a human fate is not a matter of chance; it has o do with the choices. People don’t have to wait for their destiny to knock on the door, but try to achieve it all alone. I will try to persuade you that Oedipus is totally fates, but he still is free to make decisions.

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I cannot completely disagree with this saying, but choices always exist unless the human is alive. No doubt Oedipus is guilty and should take full responsibility for what happened in his life. This episode forces a reader to think about the way each of us treats own destiny. People tend to believe that turning to good behavior and noble actions after committing bad things would result into the fate changed for a better. In fact, evil kills good humans and bad alike. So, it makes no difference for the fate to hat people perceive as good or bad.

In case of Oedipus, one way to improve his destiny is through paying attention to the prophecy of Teiresias. There is a hint for the choice. A belief that every individual has a destined life ahead is the main concept in this story. But it is only author’s subjective opinion. Oedipus has forgotten about the ability to choose freely between right and wrong, light and dark. Every decision may have a particular impact on further life development. Oedipus should try to guess which actions are morally and ethically good in order to change own life for a better. Even if a person believes in fate, there is still nothing to fear if he or she knows when and how the death can come after the soul. The earlier people like Oedipus start making choices, the more time they have to improve their reality.

Oedipus is absolutely fated. He used to believe he could solve any issue with good reason and own mind, so that’s what is tragic about his fate taking over him. The way he stood against own fate looks kind of an irony. Sophocles then point out that his hero is just a mortal man after all. The issue of the fate caught up with him, being sent by the gods regardless of what he believed. 

However, the theme of free will is poorly discussed by Sophocles. Perhaps the problem is in the ancient Greek outlook. Still, what Oedipus has achieved and could have achieved depends only on his actions and decisions. But it’s not that easy to select the right option out of all wrong. This man is fated, but if he recognized how the things are, he would not commit foolish and harmful actions.

To conclude, I would like to say that destiny is an outcome of the individual’s action towards the materialization of what this individual wants to become – in the sake of goodness or wickedness. Along with the possibility to follow a free will and stay rational in any situation, Oedipus can still modify persona life scenario and the way society wants to see him.

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 14). Oedipus: Fated or Not.


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