Uncontrollable Fate

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Do you think that fate controls the lives of humans, or do you believe someone's actions control their lives? Thomas Gould states, "We are not ˜free,' and we cannot blame anyone for anything: a man's character is made for him, not by him, and his every act is already determined before he is born  (52). In Oedipus the King, Sophocles demonstrates that humans are unable to control their own fate. Sigmund Freud suggests that

Oedipus the King is known as a tragedy of destiny. Its tragic effect lies in the contrast between the supreme will of the gods and the vain attempts of mankind to escape the evil that threatens them. The lesson which the deeply moved spectator should learn from the tragedy is submission to the divine will and realization of his own impotence. (102)

Oedipus's fall is a result of fate because of the events that occur when Oedipus is an infant, a young man, and the king of Thebes.

First of all, Oedipus's fall is a result of fate because of actions that occur when Oedipus is an infant. King Laius and Queen Jocasta are told by the oracle at Delphi that their first son will kill his father and marry his mother. Jocasta says, "It was foretold to Laius “ I shall not say by Phoebus himself, but by his ministers “ that when his fate arrived he would be killed by a son who would be born to him and me  (OR 716-719). They believed in the gods so deeply that they were willing to do anything to prevent the prophecy from occurring.

Another event that shows that humans are unable to control their fate is Oedipus' parents' attempt to kill him when he is born. In order to prevent the prophecy from being fulfilled, King Laius binds Oedipus's ankles together when he is born. King Laius then orders his servant to take the baby into the mountains and leave him to die. The king and queen were threatened so badly by their predicted fate that they were willing to kill their own son to possibly

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