TERM PAPER - Kosta Leontarakis GNHU 285 Mythology Fall 2007...

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Kosta Leontarakis GNHU 285 – Mythology Fall 2007 Deborah Chatr Aryamontri Sophocles’ Oedipus and The Dilemma Of The Free Will Do you believe you have a destiny? What is exactly is fate? These are fundamental questions that require some critical thinking. Destiny can be defined as, “the predetermined, usually inevitable or irresistible, course of events. (Dictionary.com)” Fate is described as, “something that unavoidably befalls a person. (Dictionary.com)” In the tragedies Oedipus Rex and Oedipus at Colonus, some argue that we see an example of destiny and fate. The key argument that has recurred in these stories is whether or not Oedipus was a victim of an unavoidable fate, or a product of his own choices. There are several different interpretations of these myths and famous philosophers such as Freud have analyzed what the true meaning of “The Oedipus Rex Complex” really is. I personally feel that when it comes to destiny, some people wait for it and others make their own. I find this topic very interesting. There is a very big difference between destiny and fate and controlling your actions that lead to your destiny or fate. In this case, I believe Oedipus was a victim of unavoidable fate more so than a result of his own choices for many reasons. It is true that he didn’t help his cause by showing his tragic flaw of arrogance and ill-temperedness. My main reasoning for thinking that it was fate rather than his own choice is the pure revelation he seems to have while recounting the day in which he killed the man by the forked road. He passionately tells the Gods to curse the man who killed Laius. Through his actions, I believe he never knew that the man he was cursing was in fact, himself. Destiny is a powerful thing; if Oedipus had the choice of preventing his horrible fate, I’m sure he would’ve done so. “Choose your destiny…” was a famous line in the George Lucas film Star Wars. Destiny in this instance implies that it can be chosen rather than predetermined for you. I believe fate and destiny played a huge part in the tragedy of Oedipus Rex. However, despite some beliefs I think Oedipus’s fate was sealed for him long before he could even try to prevent it. “No deliverance from the plague except you seek and find the Laius killers and punish such with
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death or banishment. (Sophocles 18).” This is one of the passages in which we see irony. Although Oedipus does not know at this point he is the murderer of Laius, he is essentially cursing himself to the God’s. This first quote indicates to me that Oedipus was not in control of his own life. It is absurd to think that someone would curse himself to the God’s when they know the repercussions would be dreadful. Oedipus calls for the retrieval of Tiresias, a blind soothsayer who resides in Thebes. Oedipus and Creon, Oedipus’s brother-in-law, hold the blind
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This note was uploaded on 04/17/2008 for the course GNHU 285 taught by Professor Aryamontri during the Spring '08 term at Montclair.

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TERM PAPER - Kosta Leontarakis GNHU 285 Mythology Fall 2007...

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