Understanding Oedipus: Fate, Freedom, and Heroes

Edit Note  |  Creator:  sliao082

Fate, Fatalism, A Fatalistic World View


  • Claim: the most important forces which create, shape, guide, reward, and afflict

  • Human lives are out of control

Symbolic Construct for Understanding and a Connection


  • Pantheistic

  • Monotheistic / dyad

  • Evil supreme being

  • The Spaghetti Monster

Why Is It Important to Understand?


  • Almost all books / stories till 18th century held a fatalistic view of life

  • India: Rama Bridge

  • Japan: Namazu

  • Noah's Ark

  • Gilgamesh

  • Hamlet

What About Chance?


  • Chance = little control, nothing to learn about it, little meaning in what happened, arbitrary

200+ Years of Hostility Toward Fatalism


  • Uncomfortable reminder of delusion

    • Lack of control

    • Unknowable / Complexity

    • The power

Freedom- Does It Exist?


  • The Moirai, Clotho, Lachesis, Atropos

It's All About Attitude


  • The Israelites wander the desert

  • The Epic of Gilgamesh

  • Oedipus the King

  • "The measure of a human, doesn't come from control, but from the attitude one adopts in the face of fatal destiny"

Heroes, It's...


  • Confronting fate, in a personal manner, whose reaction serves to illuminate for us our own particular condition

Why Don't We Think About the Implications of a Fatalistic Vision of the Universe?


  • Society has educated us, provided stories, rituals

  • "Reinforce our approach to experience"

What do Heroes do?


  • Challenge or encounter fate

  • Outside the common

  • Physically / psychologically, emotionally

  • Expire the roots of society's beliefs

In conclusion, Heroes...


  • Are willing to act

  • Make decisions

  • Step forward + take risks