Fate Or Free Will? Known primarily through the ancient plays of the Athenian, Sophocles, Oedipus is a mythical Greek King who, despite his attempts to avoid it, is destined to kill his father, marry his mother, and bring disaster and shame upon himself and his city. A classic Greek tale, the story of Oedipus deals with the themes of fate, moral ambiguity, and the miseralbe outcomes that sometimes faces those who oppose their destiny.
This question has puzzled humanity throughout history. Over the centuries, people have pondered the influence of divine or diabolical power, environment, genetics, even entertainment, as determining how free any individual is in making moral choices.
The ancient Greeks acknowledged the role of Fate as a reality outside the individual that shaped and determined human life. In modern times, the concept of Fate has developed the misty halo of romantic destiny, but for the ancient Greeks, Fate represented a terrifying, unstoppable force.
Fate was the will of the gods — an unopposable reality ritually revealed by the oracle at Delphi, who spoke for Apollo himself in mysterious pronouncements. The promise of prophecy drew many, but these messages usually offered the questioner incomplete, maddenly evasive answers that both illuminated and darkened life's path.
One famous revelation at Delphi offered a general the tantalizing prophesy that a great victory would be won if he advanced on his enemy.
The oracle, however, did not specify to whom the victory would go. By the fifth century, B. Philosophers such as Socrates opened rational debate on the nature of moral choices and the role of the gods in human affairs.
Slowly, the belief in a human being's ability to reason and to choose gained greater acceptance in a culture long devoted to the rituals of augury and prophecy. Socrates helped to create the Golden Age with his philosophical questioning, but Athens still insisted on the proprieties of tradition surrounding the gods and Fate, and the city condemned the philosopher to death for impiety.
Judging from his plays, Sophocles took a conservative view on augury and prophecy; the oracles in the Oedipus Trilogy speak truly — although obliquely — as an unassailable authority. Indeed, this voice of the gods — the expression of their divine will — represents a powerful, unseen force throughout the Oedipus Trilogy.
Yet this power of Fate raises a question about the drama itself. If everything is determined beforehand, and no human effort can change the course of life, then what point is there in watching — or writing — a tragedy?
According to Aristotle, theater offers its audience the experience of pity and terror produced by the story of the hero brought low by a power greater than himself. In consequence, this catharsis — a purging of high emotion — brings the spectator closer to a sympathetic understanding of life in all its complexity.
As the chorus at the conclusion of Antigone attests, the blows of Fate can gain us wisdom. In Greek tragedy, the concept of character — the portrayal of those assailed by the blows of Fate — differs specifically from modern expectations.
Audiences today expect character exploration and development as an essential part of a play or a film. But Aristotle declared that there could be tragedy without character — although not without action.
The masks worn by actors in Greek drama give evidence of this distinction. In Oedipus the King, the actor playing Oedipus wore a mask showing him simply as a king, while in Oedipus at Colonus, Oedipus appears in the mask of an old man.
As Sophocles saw him — and as actors portrayed him — Oedipus displayed no personality or individuality beyond his role in the legend.Feb 23, · Free Essays on Oedipus The King Fate Conclusion.
Search. Oedipus’ Unfortunate Tragedies In the classic play King Oedipus by Sophocles, Period 2 9/16/15 Fate versus Free Will It is easy to be influenced by false hopes and dreams and create lies to ease the conscience.
It is also easy to be blind and ignorant to the truth because. While free choices, such as Oedipus’s decision to pursue knowledge of his identity, are significant, fate is responsible for Oedipus’s incest and many of the other most critical and devastating events of the play.
This concept of the oppositions of fate and free will are a poignant factor in Sophocles Oedipus the King. ―Fate was the will of the gods, a reality that could not be opposed, ritually revealed by the oracle of Delphi who spoke for Apollo himself,‖ (Higgins).
Fate vs. Free Will ThemeTracker The ThemeTracker below shows where, and to what degree, the theme of Fate vs. Free Will appears in each section of Oedipus Rex. Click or tap on any chapter to read its Summary & Analysis. Sophocles’ Oedipus the King: Fate vs.
Free Will In Oedipus the King, one of Sophocles’ most popular plays, Sophocles clearly depicts the Greek’s popular belief that fate will control a man’s life despite of man’s free . Fate and Free-Will in Sophocles' Oedipus the King In Sophocles' Oedipus the King, the themes of fate and free will are very strong throughout the play.
Only one, however, brought about Oedipus' downfall and death. Both points could be argued to great effect.