Thursday, September 12, 2013

Oedipus Rex: Fate vs. Free Will

I find the message of Oedipus Rex to be a very clear one: we as humans have no control over our ultimate fate. I think even if Oedipus hadn't learned of his destiny from the Oracle and Tiresias, he still would have ended up in the same situation. His attempts to avoid fate do seem to put him in the very situation he was trying to avoid, but in some ways, one could argue that the Gods new he would go down that path. So I guess the question is, did Apollo predetermine Oedipus' fate, or did he see the future/ the choices Oedipus would make and just layout to Creon the inevitable. Then we must take into consideration Tiresias' knowledge of Oedipus' fate. Tiresias, from what I understand, is not a God. So, how did he know Oedipus' destiny? I think it's safe to say that he didn't predestine Oedipus to his misfortune. Therefore, he either interpreted Oedipus' destiny from the Gods or had transcendent powers and could Oedipus' future.

4 comments:

Miranda Martinez said...
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Miranda Martinez said...

I agree with you. I, too, see that Oedipus's fate would have remained the same regardless of what he might have/could have done to avoid it. It's almost as if Tiresias's knowledge indirectly swayed Oedipus to his fated path. Perhaps if Oedipus had heeded Tiresias's warning, he might not have had to embrace his fate so quickly. I also can't help but think of the Allegory of the Cave in relation to this. For Oedipus, at least, ignorance would definitely be bliss. I find it extremely ironic that his "enlightened" knowledge led to his downfall.

Joseph D'Amico said...

I agree as well. I think the fact that he could do nothing to avoid his terrible fate is pretty sad. I mean, even if he had been perfectly kind and pious, he would have suffered the same way. I also agree with Miranda that ignorance would be bliss for him.

Brooke M. Hathaway said...

While that I agree that Oedipus could not have avoided his fate, I still see free will within the story. Like we said in class, Oedipus's fate may have been set, but he still acted the way he did on his own. He chose to look for the truth regardless of warnings and he chose how he treated Tiresias when he did not give him the truth.