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Word Count: 464
Fate vs Free Will Sophocles three Theban Plays are arranged in a manner that from the beginning the audience is aware of the outcome and of Oedipus fate Oedipus learns that he is fated to kill his father and marry his mother In trying to avoid his fate he flees his land to construct a different life Oedipus believes that he has thwarted his fate but the audience knows otherwise The audience understands why Oedipus sees the world and himself the way he does but at the same time the audience knows he is wrong However there is no sense during the play that Oedipus is compelled to act the way he does He acts on free will and he initiates the chain of events that reveal his fate to him in the end The interplay between Oedipuss sense of his own freedom and the readers sense of his eventual downfall creates the main dramatic power in the play Therefore throughout the play there is an irony that manifests itself in the growing discrepancy between what Oedipus believes and what the audience knows This irony builds as the play progresses Slowly clues to the murderer of Laius are revealed but Oedipus refuses to believe that he is the murderer In his ignorance Oedipus seeks to find the truth in an obsessive manner Oedipus acts according to his own vision of experience and acts freely He makes his own decisions and lives with the consequences it brings He answers to himself rather than shaping his life in accordance with someone elses set of rules The course of events that eventually leads to the discovery of the truth is initiated and maintained by Oedipus himself Soon it will come to light The worst pain is self-chosen deliberate p 114 Even in his freedom Oedipus is unable to escape his fate The audience may blame fate or the gods for Oedipus downfall but when Oedipus discovers the
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