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Oedipus the King by Sophocles Essay

Sophocles was one of the greatest Greek playwrights presented the most delightful work of the human civilization – the drama “Oedipus the King”. Sophocles is a person that stood in the centre of the plot and determines the central crisis of the tragedy – moral self-determination of Oedipus. However, the crisis is not as simple as it may seem. One more central problem is that all deeds and actions of Oedipus are fated by the Gods and, therefore, Oedipus doesn’t have free will to choose his destiny.

Sophocles reveals the theme of the universal scope: who rules the destiny – the God or a person himself. Looking for an answer to eternal question the main hero Oedipus has left his native town and practically doomed himself to a certain death. Thus, Oedipus can be defined as dramatic character. The downfall of Oedipus the King was fated by the Gods and he was unable to change his destiny. All Oedipus’ actions were formed by a virulent divinity. For example, Oedipus was foretold by the Gods to kill his own father and to get married with his own mother.

Exactly the Gods willed him to do everything he didn’t want to. He found, as he thought, the right decision to leave his house. But he didn’t understand the most important thing: the Gods determined the common aspect of person’s destiny, its direction and one of the possible versions of future reality. The destiny could be changed in some situations but the results would be the same as the Gods had foretold. Oedipus was shown to be free at his choice and his ways.

But simultaneously all these choices led him to an inevitable results and even to a catastrophe. When he revealed truth of his life he decided to live his native town as he couldn’t cope with new reality which was killing him mentally. Thereby he expressed the main idea of the dramatic plot: it is the God who rules the destiny and the person is only an instrument. The fate and inevitability are nothing compared to a person who understands and realizes his own moral and spiritual essence.


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