Destiny, Fate, Free Will and Free Choice in Oedipu
s the King – Power of Fate Oedipus King essaysThe Power of Fate in Oedipus the King
The Greek tragedy Oedipus the King, by Sophocles, was written to show the common people of Greece how powerful the gods are and that your fate is pre-determined and nothing you do can change that. He does this by showing how people in this story try to escape their fate and how it is no use because in the end, what the oracles predict comes true. In the story there are many occasions in which people try to escape their fate.
The first time that one of the characters in the story tries to escape their fate is when Jocasta and Laius have a child. After the oracles tell Jocasta and Laius of their fate, Jocasta and Laius try to get rid of their new born baby by sending him off to a shepherd who in turn will put the baby on a mountain to die, however in the end their child (Oedipus) becomes a prince of another city and ends up killing his father (Laius) in an altercation and marries his mother (Jocasta). Another example is when Oedipus tries to run away from those who he thinks are his real parents because he does not want to kill his father or marry his mother, however he ends up doing so when he meets his real father in a intersection of three roads and kills him. The third example is when Oedipus continues on his journey to escape his fate and comes across the sphinx. The sphinx was a horrendous monster that was terrorizing the city of Thebes and it was said that whoever could solve the riddle of the sphinx would become king of Thebes. Oedipus solved the riddle and became king thus marrying the queen of Thebes (Jocasta) who was his real mother. By doing this he committed what he tried to get away from. In the end of the story, when Oedipus and his wife/mother find out that the prediction of the oracles has came true, Jocasta kills herself and Oedipus kills himself when he sees his mother/wife dead. This part of the tragedy is to show that if you try to escape your fate, you will be punished by the gods.
In conclusion, by the three examples that were provided above, it is clear that the purpose of this Greek tragedy was to show how fate can not be escaped and that your destiny is planned by the gods and nothing you do can change this. This also shows that although you may know your destiny, you can not do anything to change it and if you do, you will be punished by the gods.