Literary Analysis of Oedipus the KingPaper Rating: Word Count: 516 Approx Pages: 2
One of the most long lasting questions throughout all of time is whether or not humans have free will or have lives that are predestine by some higher power. This idea of predestination is seen in the play Oedipus Rex by Sophocles. In this play the character Oedipus goes to an oracle to hear his feature but when he doesn't like what he hears he try's to stop it by fleeing the situation when in reality he was actually walking right into it. In Sophocles' play Oedipus Rex, Sophocles portrays his main idea of predestination through the use of discovery and reversal.
The first major character who goes through a reversal in this play is Oedipus' mother and wife Jocaste. Throughout most of this play Jocaste doesn't belive in soothsayers and predictions of destiny. We can see how she feels about the soothsayers when she says "If it is a question of soothsayers, I tell you that you will find no man whose craft gives knowledge of the unknowable (Sophocles 185-186). This quote shows us that Jocaste doesn't believe that a person can get messages from the Gods about the destiny of a person. Jocaste does believe that a person has a destiny and reason for living but "It is God himself who can show us what he wills, in his own way (Sophocles 199-200) and not the oracles. When Jocaste starts to get more information on the matter she starts to see that the oracle was right. When she finally puts all the pieces together she realizes what has happened she kills herself.
The next major character who goes through a reversal is Oedipus. It is clear to us that Oedipus believes in the prediction of the oracle at first because he leaves behind the people that he thought were his parents so the prediction would not come true. We can see he feels this way when he says "I wandered farther and farther on my way to a land where I should never see the evil sung by the oracle (Sopholces