Oedipus Essay

Topics: Knowledge, Truth Pages: 3 (803 words) Published: December 17, 2014
Laura Seripieri
IB Theatre HL
Friday, October 17, 2014

What DO you know?
Sophocles, in Oedipus Rex, intended to make the reader deeply question their identity; are we defined by our choices or is destiny written, what makes us us, how do we know what we know about ourselves and when is knowledge about ourselves too much. The story does not have a certain message, rather many themes that are seen throughout the story, and each leave the reader with some kind of moral that he/she can interpret and use in their own life. For example, the theme of fate and free will.

Sophocles makes us question many elements about ourselves, one being if we do indeed have a predefined fate or if our free will is what guides us. The book explores the constant strain between individual choice and the written destiny. Oedipus has his free will to make his own choices, he then writes up his own fate. That being, he cannot decide for himself what his future will be, but his destiny will be shaped depending on his decisions. For example, when he decided to leave Corinth, to run away from his destiny, he really ran right into it. Meaning, his decision of leaving Corinth, made him fulfill the Oracle's prophecy, by leading him right into it. Also, his decision to pursue the facts of his past, makes him find out about the incest and the murder of his father. When Sophocles brings fate into question, it removes the responsibility that the character Oedipus carries, being that he had no other option, that his decisions would eventually lead him to lay with his own blood, but he is not responsible for that and we cannot blame him for he was in the darkness, ignorance, about it.

The fate element of the play applies to us because it is a theme about our lives; questioning do we have a fate? Sophocles leaves it ultimately up to us to decide about our fate as

Laura Seripieri
IB Theatre HL
Friday, October 17, 2014
well as Oedipus's fate, both sides can be argued for; that he decided,...
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