The Role of Fate in Sophocles’ King Oedipus Rex

 Discuss about The Role of Fate in King Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex

  Oedipus Rex is one of the greatest creations of Sophocles where king Oedipus is the protagonist who is the victim of his own fate. Generally, fate is one of the opposition elements of the play which is influenced by one’s own action but ultimately is dictated by events beyond anybody’s control.

     Oedipus is the son of king Laius and queen Jocasta. They hear from an astrologer that, Oedipus will kill his father and marry his mother. That’s why they tie his legs with a strong roof and order a shepherd to keep him on the pick of the mountain so that the beasts of the mountain eat him.

     Shepherd takes pity to him. He does not keep it on the pick of mountain. Actually, the destiny of Oedipus saves him from certain death. The shepherd gives Oedipus to another shepherd who is the member of another kingdom. He takes it and shows him to his king. The king has no child so he becomes very happy to get Oedipus. He and his wife take great care as their child. Gradually Oedipus becomes grower day by day.

      After some years later when Oedipus is young enough, one day he hears from another astrologer that he will kill his father and marry his mother. At that time he does not know his real identity, he thinks that Polybus is his father. So he does not want to kill his father and marry his mother. At that time he leaves the country to get rid of the worse work. He returns to his own country but he does not know that it is his own country. It is the creation of destiny.

    Oedipus walks along the road and goes towards his country. Suddenly his father, along with his solders is also coming on the road from his opposite site. At that time only for a simple matter a major problem has been created. Oedipus has killed his father king Laius and his solders only for a simple matter. So, here the first predict has become true and the fate has won and defeated the trying of a man. The people of that kingdom have heard that the king has been killed by some robbers.

   After some moments Oedipus meets with a sphinx which is a monster. It asks a question to the people but everybody fails to give the correct answer and when they fail to give the correct answer it eats him/her. He also asks Oedipus the same question but he gives the correct answer and the sphinx jumps from the mountain and dies. When the people of that country have learnt about the greatest success of Oedipus they become happy to Oedipus and as a gift they give their queen to Oedipus as their king was killed. So Oedipus is bound to marry the queen who is his own mother. Here we observe that destiny has totally won and the fate has proved that no man can deny his sorrow and suffering.

   There is a proverb that, “what is bolted cannot be bolted.”

   In this tragedy it becomes true. Oedipus has been trying his best to deny his fate and save him from the worse sin but he fails because his destiny bounds him to do so. Oedipus has failed and fate has won. So the role of fate on Oedipus is almighty.



  1. thanks Mahabub Murad

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