The play Oedipus Rex, written by Sophocles, is a tragedy of fate. The protagonist acts freely, but his own character and decisions are not essential to events, because fate has predetermined his destiny. The grotesque actions committed by Oedipus, were not done purposely nor wittingly, as he was unaware of his sinful actions, and were committed without intent. His fate brings him to these horrid actions. Also, he attempts several times to escape his fate and challenge the gods in order to live an ethical life with moral order, but fails to succeed since his fate is inescapable. As well, fate brings Oedipus to his downfall, by giving him opportunities to develop a tragic flaw. His tragic fate leads him to tragedy, and regardless of what Oedipus attempts to perform; his fate does not permit him to change paths. Therefore, the actions and decisions of Oedipus are not culpable for his wrong doings and tragic destiny; his fate is responsible.
Grotesque actions committed by Oedipus, such as murdering his own father and marrying his own mother, were not done purposely nor wittingly. Oedipus was unaware of these sinful actions and would commit them without intent. The following quote is said by Oedipus, to the Thebans, when they learn about the "cursed polluter", "I make this proclamation: if anyone of you knows whose hand it was that killed Laius, the son of Labdacus, let him declare it fully, now, to me." (line 223-226) This quote proves that Oedipus is unaware that he is the murderer of king Laius; his father. Oedipus was also unaware that Jocasta was his mother. He believed that his mother was still in Corinth, therefore finding no harm in marrying Jocasta. Although Oedipus had committed these horrid actions, it was his fate that brought him to committing them. For example, from the various paths in the forests that Oedipus could have taken while leaving Corinth, fate brought him to the path, leading to his father.