The Oedipus Cycle: Are our fates really set in stone?

“For all are not created in equal condition; rather, eternal life is fore-ordained for some, eternal damnation for others.”

John Calvin

Is this really it? We have no choice in choosing or path? That if we were meant to be unsuccessful, we will be no matter what we do? So say that a boy named Max’s fate is to end up poor and suffering. He chooses to lie around all day and never work hard or put effort into anything. Then, of course he will end up in poverty. But what if Max chooses to work hard, and he makes it rich in the business industry. However, he could then meet a girl who takes advantage of him and his money, leading him to alcohol and depression, which then leads to failure in work. Losing his job will likely render him unemployed for the rest of his life, thus ending up in the same fate he was supposed to be in.

No free will for any of y'all.

No free will for any of y’all.

This was why numerous people disagreed with Calvinists, and how Calvinism was never recognized in the Peace of Augsburg. It treated everyone as if we were puppets of God. But are we really? I mean, are we just living in God’s dollhouse, or do we actually have free will?

A countless number of stories have used a prophecy in their stories, and no matter what happened the prophecy usually ended up true. Prophecies mean fate. In Star Wars, Anakin was meant to save the universe; he could’ve done it by eliminating the Emperor in Episode III, but he didn’t until Episode VI. He could’ve chosen to stay good, but he decided to fall on the dark side, and he still ended up a good guy in the end. Because that was his fate, right?

But true, these are just stories. Stories like to play with our minds and make us question the universe and its incredible deities (if there are any). I love it when it makes me question myself, especially comics that discuss the Multiverse theory and  parallel Earths. I am absolutely obsessed with those stories (but yes, I am getting off-topic, but don’t worry, I’ll talk about it in a later post).

LOVE

Ahh…love. It’s too important, so I had to give it its own title. Are we fated to love the one certain someone? Before we are born, are our souls already attached to another’s? My mother believes that love is a matter that fate has already decided because she believed that no matter how much one thinks he/she loves the other, if it’s not meant to be, they’ll never be together, no matter how much one sacrifices, how much one changes, how much pain one goes through, it’s just not meant to be. She believes that love isn’t something that you can find or look for, it’s an event in which fate brings two people together; a chemistry that syncs people’s feelings with one another.

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Ahh…Ed & Winry. One of the cutest anime couples ever. (Full Metal Alchemist: Brotherhood)

So my father lived in Ba Ria, Vietnam, while my mother lived on the island of Phu Quoc. When they escaped the wretched communists, my mother ended up in Maryland, while my father was in California. Somehow, approximately fifteen years later, they ended up working in neighboring shops: a Video store for Mother, and 7-eleven for Father. They were each other’s customers, to friends, to dating, and finally, to soul mates. Was it fate that led them together? Life with each other had many ups and downs, but because of it, they managed to form a bond more powerful than ever. Marriage requires six essential elements: love, patience, respect, sacrifice, honesty, and determination. Without these, the couple will just drift apart eventually, because fate said they’re not meant for each other.

Sword-Art-Online-Kirito-and-Asuna-Together

Yes, Kirito and Asuna are an established couple. BUT WHY CAN’T HE LEAVE HER FOR SINON?!?!? (Sword Art Online)

THE MAIN COURSE, OEDIPUS REX

So what made me wanna talk about all this in the first place? Oedipus Rex. Specifically the one written by Sophocles.

Brief summary: So a prophecy states that Laius’ and Jocasta’s child is supposed to kill Laius and produce children with Jocasta. The king and queen believe that they were able to get rid of the child, but the child ends up adopted as Oedipus in another land. When he is older, he hears of the prophecy, not knowing his parents are adopted parents, he leaves the land where he was raised, and heads out. He unknowingly kills Laius on the way, and when he reaches Thebes, he saves the people from a sphinx, marries Jocasta and has kids.

Alright, so that was pretty much what happened. Yes, it’s very gross and you’ll often find incest in Greek and Roman stories. But, my point is, did it matter which choices Oedipus or his parents made? Will the prophecy still remain true? Will fate change at all?

I’m gonna go ahead and give y’all a couple scenarios drawn by yours truly.

So the first scenario is that after hearing of the prophecy, Jocasta decides hide the fact that she’s pregnant from her husband Laios, because then he will want to kill the baby.

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…I don’t think he’ll know…

She then decides to hang with her brother, Creon, for a while, and gives birth there as well. She decides to trust him with the baby, and she’s glad to know that her baby will get to live.

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Oh sure…I’ll help you…I’m your bro…

Creon thinks that the prophecy is still in place. He believes that he can change it, so he will kill the baby by leaving him out at the mountains to die.

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Bye-bye, poor thing! But you’re a CURSE!

The baby is spotted by a shepherd, and the shepherd brings it to Corinth, where the baby is adopted as Oedipus by the King Polybus and Queen Merope, setting the whole story back in place, in which Oedipus will soon kill his real dad, and sleep with his real mom.

Look what I found!

Look what I found!

In the second scenario, the parents believe that they can change their child’s fate by raising him with proper values, so they keep him.

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Never gonna allow that crazy fate to happen!

However, the Creon of this timeline is still fearful of the prophecy and wants there to be no heir to the throne, so he hires a shady character to kidnap the baby.

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Since I wear dark colors, they will think that I am BAD.

After kidnapping the baby, they leave at the mountains, which leads to the shepherd finding the baby again, setting the course up for the same events.

CRYING!

CRYING!

In the third scenario, at Corinth, even after finding out about the prophecy, Oedipus has faith that he would never do something as vile as that, so he decides to stay.

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TRUST.

However, somehow, Corinth and Thebes get into a conflict, and a war ensues. Oedipus kills Laios, and people bow in his power instead of wanting to hurt him.

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RAWR!!!

Oedipus takes over Thebes, also thinking that it was a certain way of leaving his parents so that the prophecy would never come true. Jocasta is okay with marrying Oedipus because he is now king. THIS MARRIAGE HAPPENS IN ALL THREE SCENARIOS. EVERYTHING AFTER THE MARRIAGE HAPPENS AS WELL.

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I wear a crown.

So then, Oedipus and Jocasta have four kids: Antigone, Ismene, Eteocles, and Polyneces.

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Four kids. What a trouble.

Then, this happiness is stopped by all secrets being revealed. Oedipus pierces his eyes out, while Jocasta hangs herself. He then makes Creon exile him from Thebes.

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THE HORROR! THE HORROR! THE HORROR!!!

CONCLUSION

I wanted to have a bit of fun with my stories, so I wanted to go with a perspective of believing that fate has already decided the outcome of everything for us, so no matter what we do, the end result won’t change. Yes, it’s very sad for those who have terrifying fates, like Oedipus, but who said that predestination is right? I sure don’t believe it. I’m just a young Asian bachelor waiting for whatever life throws at me. I am not a puppet of anyone, and I live my own life. And no one’s gonna tell me different, because I own my life, my body, and my soul. MINE.

~Dennis

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