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Fate and Freewill in Oedipus Rex

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Noah Rea

on 18 November 2014

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Transcript of Fate and Freewill in Oedipus Rex

Fate and Free Will in Oedipus Rex
Plot Structure:
Establishes the unavoidable outcome of the tragedy
Triggers events that lead up to outcome

Fate is inevitable
Prophecy is carried out in spite of Oedipus's efforts, which actually bring about his fate

Plot Structure:
Symbolizes course of action that Oedipus decides to take
Oedipus recklessly kills Laius
Leads to completion of prophecy

Oedipus fulfills the first part of the prophecy through his free will
Pursuit of Knowledge
Plot Structure:
Oedipus does not heed the advice of others to cease his investigation of Laius's murder
This decision results in his discovery of the truth

Oedipus learns that he unknowingly fulfilled the prophecy, cementing his downfall

Motifs: Prophecy, Crossroads, Pursuit of Knowledge
Plot Structure
Fate is inevitable, yet free will determines how fate will unfold.
Plot Structure: Oedipus's attempts to avoid fate only ensure that it ensues
Theme: Fate is inevitable, yet free will determines how fate will unfold
"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 kill your father, the one who gave you life!" (873-875)
"Laius, / so the report goes at least, was killed by strangers, / thieves, at a place where three roads meet..." (788-790)
"I must know it all, / must see the truth at last." (1169-1170)
Full transcript