Fate vs. Free Will: Oedipus the King Essay Example

Fate and Free Will, are key components to “Oedipus the King” and “Minority Report” and they coexist with difficulty. Oedipus and John both have their fate determined but they use free will. Oedipus leads himself to his fate but with John it’s a little different. John has his fate determined but he had a choice and decided to do it. In addition, John’s fate was something that was going to happen in the future,  Oedipus’ fate happened but he didn’t know, which adds to the dramatic irony of “Oedipus the King.”

In Minority Report, John knew that he would kill someone in the future but he was arrogant and thought that he was right and couldn’t kill someone. John is arrogant, which is a key component to Greek Tragedy. In Greek Tragedy it’s called “hubris”, when a character is arrogant and thinks he’s right. John spends the whole time in the movie believing he won’t kill anyone and that he’s right. In the end he realizes he’s wrong and that the whole “Precrime” system is wrong.

In the Oedipus the King, Oedipus has his fate set and he finds out about but he doesn’t believe it. He also is hubristic and thinks he could not have his father and married his mother. He makes a decree that whoever killed Laius, (who is his father but he doesn’t know) should be banished. He tries to find the truth and it was right in front of him the whole time, but he didn’t believe it. In the end, Oedipus realizes he’s wrong and that he was too arrogant, and he pokes out his eyes. 

There are many differences between Fate vs. Free Will in “Oedipus The King” and “Minority Report.” First, Oedipus’ fate already happened so his free will is only him trying to figure out what happened. Oedipus already had married his mother and killed his father, but he just doesn’t know that the person he killed was his father and that he married his own mother. Oedipus spends the movie uncovering the past. Whereas in Minority Report, John is finding out the future. John’s fate didn’t happen yet, so he uses his free will to figure out his fate, in, who he kills and why he kills him. Furthermore, in Minority Report it’s questionable if you really have free will because you already have a fate, so maybe whatever you do before your fate is just leading you to your fate. In contrast, in “Oedipus The King”, had Oedipus just stayed put nothing would’ve happened and he wouldn’t have known his fate. Oedipus’ fate already happened, so his free will is just him figuring out the past.

In conclusion, fate and free will coexist in different ways in both “Oedipus the King” and “Minority Report.” In Minority Report, John’s fate hasn’t happened so he uses free will to figure out why he will kill someone. In “Oedipus The King” Oedipus is using his free will to uncover the past because his fate already happened. “Fate and Free Will” play very different roles in “Oedipus The King” and “Minority Report.”



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