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Oedipus the King

Oedipus the King

by Sophocles
 Table of Contents

Oedipus the King Fate and Free Will Quotes

How we cite our quotes:

Quote #1

OEDIPUS And thou shalt not be frustrate of thy wish. Now my imaginings have gone so far. Who has a higher claim that thou to hear My tale of dire adventures? Listen then. My sire was Polybus of Corinth, and My mother Merope, a Dorian; And I was held the foremost citizen, Till a strange thing befell me, strange indeed, Yet scarce deserving all the heat it stirred. A roisterer at some banquet, flown with wine, Shouted "Thou art not true son of thy sire." It irked me, but I stomached for the nonce The insult; on the morrow I sought out My mother and my sire and questioned them. They were indignant at the random slur Cast on my parentage and did their best To comfort me, but still the venomed barb Rankled, for still the scandal spread and grew. (771-788)


For a man who doesn’t believe in fate now, Oedipus demonstrated a lot of faith in prophecy when he was younger.

Quote #2

OEDIPUS Let the storm burst, my fixed resolve still holds, To learn my lineage, be it ne'er so low. It may be she with all a woman's pride Thinks scorn of my base parentage. But I Who rank myself as Fortune's favorite child, The giver of good gifts, shall not be shamed. She is my mother and the changing moons My brethren, and with them I wax and wane. Thus sprung why should I fear to trace my birth? Nothing can make me other than I am. (1077-1086)


While Oedipus’s fate of killing his father and sleeping with his mother is sealed, he only learns that he has fulfilled his fate through persistent searching. Therefore, it is his fault that the tragedy is discovered, not the fault of fate.

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