The play “Oedipus” is a classical example of how one fights against God and fate, trying to change his own destiny and the circumstances of life that seem to be written in stone. The play tells a story of how it does not matter what sort of conditions life creates; a person has their own right to choose their actions and what frames determine existence.
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From the very beginning, Oedipus is shown to go against the grain and is set on making his own decisions. The Oracle predicts that his fate will be filled with pain and misery, but he is determined to make his own luck and listen to his internal wants and needs. The whole play is based on Oedipus upsetting the established order and going against the system. Even though he is shown unknowing of his true actions, his intentions are defined by what he personally thinks is right, and this is the major quality of his character throughout the play. He takes a direct step in challenging God and the predetermined life, which seems to be set even before he is born. The audience realizes the tragedy that is about to happen, but at the same time, it is clear that he will not take a step back and will go until the end. His will and power over the circumstances are stronger than reason and any feelings. It is ironic that all the time he is fighting against the authority and power of life and higher forces, he is actually fulfilling his destiny and does exactly what he should have avoided. This is a life lesson because, by the end, he is shown the true value and consequences of his actions.
At the time he meets his father on the crossroads, it is obvious that he should not do what he was fated to do. This is a significant example of the contrast between what a person knows they must do and what they are not supposed to. Oedipus believes that he must act in the highest morals and establish justice while his destiny has determined that he will accomplish quite the opposite by carrying out his actions in such away. He does follow the predictions and kills his own father. This is very tragic, and the audience knows that even though his character is honorable and honest, he does things that he should not. It is interesting to see that his fight against all authority, the Oracle’s words and all forces of nature are really a fight between himself and his own characteristics.
He has been made the judge of his soul, and he takes a direct part to carry out his own punishment. From one perspective, he is acting out the highest and most reasonable and chivalrous standards, but from another, he makes his life worse. This is pointed out in a specific way, as to show that sometimes the things that a person does are not truly the way they need to be done. When someone believes that they are acting in the best possible way and are fighting for the goodness and kindness of life and other people, they could become the victim of their own actions by making things worse. This is a paradox because it is a known fact that very often, a person tries to do better and help others, but it turns out to be even worse, and the help that was provided becomes detrimental in the end.
Oedipus lives his life by own understanding of the surrounding environment and he faces a force much higher than his own reasoning but he still decides to do things how he best knows them. The Oracle is the representation of destiny and forces that are not in human control but Oedipus still chooses his path and does not believe what he is told. Even though this is not the first time he is told about his ill destiny he still does not believe the things he does not want to believe and goes against the stars. He is feeling that something in his life is not right and is full of doubt if the prophecies are really true. Another important message that is illustrated is that in his fight against all authority and himself, he gains qualities that are very noble and full of understanding and suffering of others. It makes one wonder if believing in the self and mistrusting all other powers and advice is the only way to become what the person wants to be. An important point that the play makes, is that good luck and wisdom are constantly present. The fact that Oedipus is following his heart and does things he believes are morally correct, prove that he will be helped by the higher forces. This is another contradiction because even though he is not supposed to be doing what he does, he is helped by nature and good luck. This is a clear demonstration that there are benefits in trusting in yourself and being firm in carrying out own beliefs.
Until the very end, Oedipus does things how he believes are right and does not conform to the norms. In the greater scope of things, the outcome of the play is tragic but the truth stays the same, it is that no matter what the person is told and how many times they are warned about the dangers and own wrongdoings, they will still follow their heart. It is possible to assume that even if everyone and all the forces of nature told Oedipus that he is wrong and must follow their advice, he would still believe only in himself and do things the way he understood them to be. His noble character makes him a prisoner of himself because the good deeds that he does, still lead him to the fate that ends in the most negative way.
His motives are directed by kindness and honor but at the same time, he lies to himself and denies his fate. It seems that he has led himself astray and confused his own character into believing that what he was doing was right. It is possible to suppose that sometimes, people act against authority out of fear and disbelief in the goodness and order of the world. Every time a person is presented with the choice, it is in their power to choose a path and often, people pick the one they think is close to them and their heart, even though it goes against all rules, authority and nature.
Oedipus is a very specific example of how a person follows their belief no matter what and that there are sometimes cases when no force will change the course an individual has set for themselves.