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Explain the following quote: "Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of...

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fatoosh-11 | Student, Grade 11 | eNotes Newbie

Posted June 21, 2009 at 10:09 PM via web

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Explain the following quote:

"Nobody ever did, or ever will, escape the consequences of his choices." -Alfred Montapert

and express opinion relating to the quote

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted June 22, 2009 at 4:05 AM (Answer #1)

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Certainly, much of literature is written that includes this motif.  From the time of the Greek tragedies, Oedipus  of Sophocles's trilogy is a character who pays the ultimate price for his choices.  For, his fate is sealed by his excessive pride and tragic mistake, or hamartia which lead him to kill Laius, his predecessor as king of Thebes. 

When he first hears of the plague that haunts Thebes, Oedipus proudly annnounces that he will rid the city of this "pollution."  Of course the 'pollution' is that of Oedipus himself, and when told by the blind prophet Teiresias that he is the very cause of the misery of the people, Oedipus refuses to believe him.  When Oedipus learns that he has, in fact, murdered his father, laius and married his mother, Jacasta,  he is so overcome with his shame, that he puts out this eyes.  Banished from Thebes, his daughter leads him from Thebes. Humiliated and shamed, Oedipus Rex leaves Thebes in disgrace as the hasty and pompous acts of his youth seal his fate.

In reality, the news is replete with stories of dictators who have suffered the consequences of their dastardly deeds. Saddam Hussain saw his life terminated as a result of his treatment his own people. Richard Nixon was made to resign the presideny after his fiasco of taping Watergate's Democratic headquarters.

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Michelle Ossa | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator Emeritus

Posted June 22, 2009 at 5:20 AM (Answer #2)

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Both literature and history have shown us that all decisions bring on consequences, whether good or bad. Those decisions and choices place the next stepping stone to our journey.  Hence, life is not a pre-determined game of fate, but something that continues to create itself second by second, as we continue to make choices and decisions.

Literature is a key movement that expresses how this quote takes effect. From the decision of Beowulf to conceive with a figure from the underworld, to the choices of Hamlet, to those of Emily in A Rose for Emily, to those of Young Goodman Brown, all choices call for the next move. The next move does not come from fate, but from man itself, as the choice is made. It is the domino effect of life, and it is unstoppable.

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