Analyze a central question & if the play offers answers. Explain how the answers, if any, affect the understanding of the work as a whole.Oedipus Rex by Sophocles I chose to answer the...

Analyze a central question & if the play offers answers. Explain how the answers, if any, affect the understanding of the work as a whole.

Oedipus Rex by Sophocles

I chose to answer the question "Is divine power greater than mortal power in regards to fate and predestination? And can mortal begins change their fate or is it in the hands of the gods? " I need to find evident through Oedipus Rex that will help me start my essay. Any help would be much appreciated!

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mwestwood | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The ancient Greeks were convinced that the gods knew everything that would happen in the future.  The Fates carried out the plans of Zeus by drawing lots and tying the resulting allotments into threads of life for each mortal.  These threads are woven together and knotted at different points in different ways.  At death, this fabric of life is cut off.  Thus, the fate of Oedipus Rex is set despite his parents' attempt to kill him and despite his leaving his home after the prediction of the oracle so that he would not kill his father.

In preparing your support for your essay, you should have no trouble in locating your "evidence."  Let your focus be in the how the evidence of Oedipus's fate emerges as Oedipus in his fateful kindness to the people of Thebes attempts to learn the reason and the cause of the curse upon Thebes.  When Tieresias refuses to tell Oedipus the truth in an attempt to spare Oedipus disgrace, the king insists and brings about his own demise:  "What troubles could prevent your hunting down the killers?" he asks in great dramatic irony.

As Oedipus continues his efforts to learn the truth that he hopes will remove the curse from Thebes, he becomes angry with the priest and with his wife's brother Creon who strive to withhold his fate from him.  Thus, his hubris becomes his nemesis.  His act comes from the threads of his life that have lead him to his fate; and, Oedipus's fate is sealed by his proud insistence upon the truth.  This truth is the fact that, despite all his efforts, he has killed his father Laius and married his mother, Jocasta--exactly what the oracle has predicted.

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