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Word Count: 492
FREE WILL VS FATE IN OEDIPUS REX The great philosopher Socrates believes that humans rule themselves with a combination of fate and free will In Oedipus Rex a combination of fate and free will contribute to the destruction of Oedipus Rex Oedipus oracle his quest for the truth and his self-blinding all concur to destroy Oedipus life Before the play begins Apollo ordains that Oedipus will kill his father and sleep with his mother Oedipus describes his fears to Jocasta when he tells her that the oracle of Delphi says that I should lie with my own mother breed children from whom all men would turn their eyes and that I should be my fathers murderer 12749-51 Because of this fear Oedipus leaves home only to unknowingly kill his father and set the oracle in motion As a result of the slaughter of King Laius and his men Oedipus leaves only one man alive and that man will also contribute to Oedipus destruction This unavoidable fate is the key to Oedipus destruction however it is Oedipus relentless quest for the truth that leads him to realize that he commits these sins Oedipus pursuit of the truth also contributes to his destruction As a result of his willing inquiry about the murderer of King Laius the origin of Oedipus birth reveals itself The servant for whom Oedipus sends for reveals himself to be the shepherd who gives away the baby of Jocasta and Laius By the shepherds admission he pitied the baby 241113 and gives the baby away to another shepherd who saved him 241115 Through the shepherds story Oedipus realizes that all of the prophecies are true and that through his exploration of the truth he damns himself His arrogant self-assurance is his downfall at this point because he feels that nothing bad can happen to him as a result when Oedipus learns the truth he feels so much shame
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