[ 8 July 2012 ]
The Fate and Free Will of Man
Throughout time there has always seemed to be an argument over the question of man being able to control his own destiny by free will or if he must just accept the fate that was laid before him from the Gods above?
In the Greek Tragedy Oedipus the King, the play clearly illustrates the struggle and tension between the two conflicting entities between fate and free will. Fate represents the might of the Gods and is prearranged while free will has consequences of its choices. One of the most important themes of this play is the tension between free will and ...view middle of the document...
Oedipus learns from the messenger that he is not the child of Polybus but, Oedipus refuses to believe this. Oedipus whole heartedly believes that he is the son of Polybus; however the truth comes to light that he is really the son of Jocasta
The origins of this play accommodate the question about precognition and anticipation. The audience, who knew the myth, would know from the start far more than Oedipus himself, a firm example of dramatic irony. Furthermore, one of the themes the play considers as a corollary is whether or not you can escape your fate. In trying to murder her son, Jocasta finds him reborn as her husband. Running from Corinth, from his parents, Oedipus murders his father on the way. It seems that running away from ones’ fate ultimately ensures that one is only running towards it.
Greek culture puts special emphasis on fate; this can be seen throughout this play. Characters continually try to change their fate, for example with the king of Thebes who attempted to kill his son in order to ensure that the prophecy not come to pass. The Greek view of fate and free will does not differ from the modern day view. Looking at fate from a contemporary monotheistic view, God has a plan for everyone regardless how they go about everyday life their fate is sealed. Modern free will is no different now than it was in the past, free will is determined by the motives and intentions of oneself.
Weinstein, Arnold., Classroom Lecture, You Tube. Thomas Edison State College. Trenton,
New Jersey, 8 July, 2012.