Is life decided by fate; is there a pre-determined plan for our lives? Do we go through life making choices without purpose? Is life pre-determined by fate or are we responsible for our own actions? The Greeks believed heavily in prophecies, pre-determined life, and divine laws. "Oedipus the King", written by Sophocles is an example of Sophocles' belief that fate is a major factor in one's life which can completely control a man's life despite his means of free will. Through out the play, the main character, Oedipus, is torn between Fate and freewill. His inner strengths or his free will and pride along with uncontrollable forces or fate influences him. While he has free will to make his own decisions, fate continues to take control in the end. Sophocles shows us how Oedipus has no control over their life, and that fate is dominant over evil.
At the moment of his birth, Oedipus seems to have a pre-determined set of events that would lead to his own destruction. Although he has free will, the decisions he makes are set within the limits of fate and end up bringing the prophecy to life. Sophocles suggests that humans have free will, but are limited by higher order that controls our path in life. For example, the God Apollo tells Oedipus, "You are fated to couple with your mother, you will bring a breed of children into the light no man can bear to see-you will kills your father, the one who gave you life!" Here, Apollo reveals Oedipus' fate and starts him on his path in life. Little known to him, hearing his future leads him closer to his fate. Seconds after hearing Apollo's words, Oedipus tells Jocasta, "I heard all that and ran. I abandoned Corinth always running towards some place where I would never see the shame of all those oracles come true." Oedipus believes in prophets, but feels he can avoid pre-determined life by fleeing the city of his second parents. His running turns out to be his first steps down his pre-conceived path in life.