Numerous communities believe that fate has been a powerful impact on the life and destiny of individuals. In the play, fate is an unavoidable phenomenon that befalls characters. When Laius and Jocasta learn that, their son would kill his father and marry his mother, they resolve to abandon him on top of a hill to die. However, fate does not allow him to perish and he survives. Upon learning his destiny, he flees Corinth and fulfills his pre-determined destiny. Evidently, the efforts of the characters to escape their destiny draw them closer to its fulfillment. I believe that man cannot escape from certain events in life as they are predetermined to happen. Oedipus the King by Sophocles highlights the inability of men from escaping their fate as it plays a crucial role in shaping their lives.
The gods knew that Oedipus would run away from his destiny and they used the opportunity to fulfill his fate. As a result, events that led to Oedipus father going into Delphi to find out his son’s destiny. After discovering the shocking details of Oedipus’s destiny, his parents decided to kill him (Sophocles 95). As a result, Joscata pinned his ankles together and abandoned him on top of a hill to die. She fused his ankles together and ordered him to be thrown on a mountainside where no one went to die alone (Johnston 19). However, two messengers rescued him and delivered him to his adoptive parents. Through fate, shepherds find him and take him to King Polybius of Corinth who together with his wife adopt him and raise him as their own son (Johnston 27). Although Joscata sought to evade the fate of their son killing her husband and marrying him, she did not succeed, as Oedipus did not die as they had anticipated.
Oedipus learns that he is destined to kill his father and marry his mother. As a result, he tries to flee from Corinth to avoid fulfilling his destiny as predetermined by the gods. Although a drunkard tells him that he is adopted he does not believe (Johnston 21). Oedipus strives to escape his destiny as told by the Oracle of Delphi by going to Thebes but on his way, he meets a herald and a horse-drawn chariot (Sophocles 94). Fate makes him meet Laius on a narrow path where he argued with the driver ends up killing all the travelers in retaliation without knowing he had fulfilled his destiny (Johnston 20). On arriving in Thebes, he wins the throne, marries Jocasta, and has children with her. He Oedipus does not know is that he had actually killed his biological father and that his wife was his mother when he swore to find the killers of the slain king. This is confirmation that our attempts to change our fate cannot prevent the predetermined course of our lives.
Oedipus, Laius, and Jocasta are victims of fate as his desire to avoid his destiny facilitates its fulfillment. Form the play, it is evident that although man has free will, he does not control over his fate. Throughout the play, Oedipus strives to change his destiny and all his efforts to avoid it bring him closer to its fulfillment. Despite the philosophical disdain attached to the belief in fate, I firmly believe in it. I believe that Oedipus was a victim of fate and all the incidences in his life had been predetermined.
Johnston, Ian. “Oedipus the King. Sophocles (C. 420 BCE)”. Slps.Org, 2004, pp 1-40. https://www.slps.org/site/handlers/filedownload.ashx?moduleinstanceid=22453&dataid=25126&FileName=Sophocles-Oedipus.pdf. Accessed 8 Apr. 2019.
Sophocles. Oedipus Rex. University of Wisconsin Press, 2011