Ultimately we are responsible for making our own choices, but in Oedipus the King, fate and free will are both exposed in this play. Oedipus hubris played a big role in this play. That was Oedipus hamartia and it got the best of him. Reason being he is overly confident with himself, thus making him feel that he’s above the law. Which leads him to using his free will, when he not just kills the king at the crossroads, but he chooses to kill all six of the men that were there.
This not just shows that he sealed his fate, but also shows that he used his free will in killing those other men. In the new prophecy, the Oracle has told Creon that the plague in Thebes will not end until the killer of Laius is solved, and the murderer cursed and driven out of the city . For example “I forbid that man, whoever he be, my land, my land where I hold sovereignty and throne;/ and I forbid any welcome him or cry him greeting or make him sharer sacrifice or offering to the Gods’ ‘ ( sophocles 255-260). This quote shows that Oedipus is so overly confident in himself that he puts a cures upon the murder thinking that it wasn’t him, and without any hesitation.
Oedipus says the killer may just have to kill him if he doesn’t want the secret to come out. Oedipus is so ignorant to the fact that by searching for king Laius killer, he is sealing his own fate. He is so focused on himself that he doesn’t see that he is the true killer. No one forced him to find this killer. He chose to find him so that the people of Thebes won’t be suffering anymore from the plague. Oedipus values justice and when he heard about the late king’s killer was never found, he wanted to find justice for the late king. Oedipus’ actions, temper, impulsive nature, and pride led to his downfall
People make decisions on their own, no one is controlling them but themselves. Fate may exist, but that doesn’t mean can’t make your own decision, you can still make your own decisions you have that power over yourself. Like when he tells the people he found out that Jocasta is his mother and the man he killed back then was Lauis, his real father. Realizing that he fullfilled his destiny when we tried to prevent it from happening. “you, you’ll see no more pain I suffered, all the pain I caused!
Too long you looked on the ones you never should have seen, blind to the ones you have longed to see, to know! Blind from this hour on! Bind in the darkness, Blind! (Sophocles 1402-1411) He thinks he deserves to be punished for the pain he has caused and for not being able to see the truth that was right in front of him the whole time. He wanted to make his own fate not have someone else control it for him. The quote shows free will by Oedipus because when he see that Jocasta had committed suiside in their room, he gets crazy and stabs his eyes and blinds himself Instead of blinding himself, he could have chosen to accepted his responsibility to Jocasta and simply apologize for the pain that he has caused, he is responsible for his own actions that he made. No one made him do that. The choices he made were on his own terms.
Oedipus is guilty of killing his father and marrying/sleeping with his mother, but perhaps the true sin is his frantic attempt of trying to flee his fate. Oedipus’s pride prevents him from seeing reality. He’s blinded, and unable to see the situation that is in front of him. This was prophesied, it was not destined to happen, it only happened because their actions made it come true. Having pride is never wrong, you should be prideful, but sometimes it’s not always good.
You can overlook things in a person and sometimes those little things you are missing are the big things in life. Make good decisions, have balance in life. Fate doesn’t always mean your life is planned out for you from the beginning. It may just mean opportunities may come you way, you may meet important people who will change your life, or it can even mean that you will learn valuable lessons that you never knew you needed. Whether or not you take it is on you, not on anyone else, you.