Greeks and some religious people today use(d) gods to explain why good and bad things happen to us that would be random, unfair, and incomprehensible otherwise. “Everything happens for a reason,” implies, to me, that the person saying that believes a supreme force is has predetermined everything and that, in the end, everything will work the way that force has intended. If that is the case, where’s the room for our free will?
In the play, the prophecy from the gods is unavoidable and inescapable up until a point (perhaps). Apollo only prophecizes that Oedipus will kill his dad and marry his mom, and it ends there. So once the gods’ plan happens, Oedipus, “The Son of Chance” has free will. Now Oedipus must confront the consequences of his fate, but
HE CAN’T HANDLE THE TRUTH!
…so he gouges is own eyes out. There’s a lot of fortune telling going on from the prophecy his mom heard, to the oracle Creon discovers, to Tieries’s foreshadowing. There’s also a lot of denouncing of fate, probably more out of denial than actually under-valuing it, especially by Jocasta: “What’s a man to fear? …Chance rules our lives.” Look at where that got her… :-/ Oedipus’s life was coordinated by the Gods…and at the end he handles the situation, constructively of course, with his free will…maybe… Tiresias foreshadows Oedipus’s blindness…so maybe it was already planned that he would gouge out his eyes as well. Did Oedipus have free will, or was he a pawn the Gods liked to torture? It seems to me that the prevailing force is destiny.