Oedipus the King Analysis
Sophocles is one of the most famous playwrights in Ancient Greek history. One of his plays, The Three Theban Plays, is known as Oedipus the King. In Sophocles’ play the conflict between fate and free will can be analyzed. In Oedipus the King, Oedipus’ fate is to murder his father and sleep with his mother. This belief of predetermined fate is designed for the gods to hold and no man can defy the gods without consequences. In Sophocles’ play, many events can be disputed if they were fated by Oedipus or the Gods.
In the Ancient times of Greece, fate was determined by the Three Greek Goddesses of Destiny and Fate; they were known as the “Morai.” They strung each person’s fate together with such thick magical yarn nothing can alter or change fate regardless of a person’s free will (Morai). The story is told that one goddess would unravel the magic yarn, the second goddess would determine the length, and the third would make the final cut. Under no circumstances are fates to be altered according to the goddess’ powers (Godchecker). From this story comes the actions of Oedipus, and his beliefs of this own fate.
In Oedipus the King, Oedipus tirelessly searches for King Laius’ murderer. In this quest for knowledge he eventually determines the true events which occurred. This quest for knowledge shows the reader that it is indeed Oedipus who was acting on free will to continue searching for his killer (Sophocles 54). The god’s have no effect on a persons decision to act (Godchecker). There purpose is to control fate as it is written regardless of human desire to change their destiny (Morai). If Oedipus had left the search alone like the people had, the discovery of his death would not have sent Oedipus to his doom.
In another scene, Oedipus sends Creon to the oracle of Delphi in order to discover the true meaning of Laius’ murder (Sophocles 1321- 1325). This action is again free willed and signifies his desire for knowledge. The news...