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Grace Borrero


2nd Period

6 November 2019

If your future was predicted and it came true does that mean it’s your fate or free will that

led you there? Fate and free will both play a part in were you end up in your life, just like it did

for Oedipus. Fate is your future, determined by the outside forces in your life in which you can’t

control. Free will determines your future based off the decisions you make to get there. You may

be thinking if fate and freewill are two completely different things then how do they connect?

Freewill is one of the factors that determine your fate. Or you could see it as fate is one of the

factors that determine your freewill. In the play “Oedipus Rex”, by Sophocles, it shows both

how freewill and fate determine your future.

Fate plays a part in the play of Oedipus Rex, when it seems like Odeipus’ fate was sealed

from the beginning of his life. “Jocasta: An oracle was reported to Laius once; That his doom

would be death at the hands of his own son-- His son, born of his flesh and blood.”<<Line

669,673-675>> The oracle predicted Laius’ fate of being killed by his own son and his son

having kids as a product of incest. They tried avoiding their fate that was predicted by what is

described in <<line 676-678>>, “Jocasta: But his child had not been three days in this world

before the king had pierced the baby’s ankles and left him to die on a lonely mountain side.”

King Laius did this to his own son, Oedipus, to avoid his fate. But you can’t really avoid fate,

can you? “Oedipus: If I was created so, born to this fate, Who could deny the savagery of

God?” <<Line 186>> Oedipus was expressing his sorrow that this was the way his life was

destined to be. Even after trying to avoid it he still killed his own father and slept with his own
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mother. Even when you try to stop your fate it always finds a way. But do you believe that

people contributed to making Oedipus’ fate what it was?

Do you believe that if King Laius, and his wife Jocasta, could’ve made a difference by

changing some of the choices they made? As a matter of fact in <<line 676>> it states, “Jocasta:

But his child had not been three days in this world before the king has pierced the baby’s ankles

and left him to die on a lonely mountain side.” Along the lines of free will this says a lot. If Laius

had made a different decision Odeipus may have ever grown up to kill his own father and sleep

with his own mother due to the fact that him leaving Odeipus to die on the mountainside created

a completely different fate for him. But could it have been just Laius’ change that changed

Odeipus’ fate? “Oedipus: I struck him in my rage. The old man saw me and brought his double

goad down upon my head as I came abreast. He was paid back, and more! Swinging my club in

this right hand I kicked him out of his care, and he rolled on the ground. I killed him. I killed

them all.” <<line767>> Odeipus could've changed his fate but due to the fact of him acting out

of rage his fate was sealed. The play also states, “ Jocasta: An oracle was reported to Laius

once-- that his doom would be death at the hands of his own son-- His son, born of his flesh and

mine!” <<Line 669>> If Laius and Jocasta wouldn't have listened to the oracle they’re whole

future could have been changed. Jocasta may have never created children out of incest and may

of never hung herself. Your fate can be determined by freewill and if they would’ve made

different choices, Odeipus, Laius, and Jocasta's future could’ve turned out differently and better.

Fate and free will connect due to the fact that your fate can be changed by your freewill.

The way your life turns out has to do with the choices you made to get you there. One little

change in your decisions can make a major change in the outcome of your life. In <<line 444>>

“Teiresias: Who came to his father’s bed, wet with his father’s blood. Enough. Go think that
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over. If later you find error in what I have said.” If Laius and Jocasta wouldn’t of listened to the

oracle and kept Odiepus he could’ve had a different life. Him being left to die, being adopted,

and the people who he was raised by changed the outcome of his life. If he would’ve been raised

by Jocasta and Laius who knows if he would’ve had a good life and not made all the decisions

that determined his fate. In fact Odeipus’ fate was determined before he had a chance to change

it. “ You cannot judge unless you know the facts.” <<lines 516>> How was he suppose to

determine if he wanted to change his fate by making different decisions (freewill). “Thus Apollo

never caused that child to kill her father, and it was not Lauis’ fate to die at the hands of son,

ashe had feared. This is what prophets and prophecies are worth!” <<line 679>> If the oracle

would’ve never told Laius he would’ve never done that to Odiepus which would have also been

something major that changes his fate. And the quote proves that his fate would have gone so

different. But it didn’t because of the choices made. If Jocasta and Laius never heard of

Odeipus’ fate would him killing his own father and sleeping with his own mother even be his


In conclusion although fate is your future free will can change your future. Although they

are two completely different things they connect. Free will can determine your fate but your fate

can determine your freewill if you let it. The play, Odeipus Rex, by Sopocles, shows how they

connect and how Odiepus fate would have been changed by the characters freewill.

Works Cited

Stravinsky, Igor, et al. Oedipus Rex. Program Publishing Company, 1949.