For example, in a car petrol/gas (energy) is the forward movement. Without it, the vehicle cannot move, may be the best model, with the ablest chauffeur behind the wheel! It has been pre-ordained that the car will move only with the source of energy. The driver at the wheel forms part of the lateral movement. He can drive the vehicle, fast, slow, he can choose the ideal route as per his choice, if the vehicle unfortunately hits the divider he is responsible—meaning thereby, he has the free choice as for movements of the car. In the present story, Oedipus executes his actions of his free will. He makes the independent choices.”To what extent can anybody enjoy freewill? To what extents are we too the children of chance?”—all these questions are analyzed in this drama. (Knox, 1994, Back Matter)
Take one such example of freewill in the play regarding the punishment proposed to be meted out to King Laiaus’s killer. Oedipus asserts that he curses the killer to live in exile. This shows how he exercises his free will. He could have as well put the killer to death or ordered his imprisonment. Another example when Oedipus exercises his free will is when he inflicts self-punishment of blinding himself. The reason for this action is he comes to know that Jocasta is his mother and the individual he killed long ago, Lauis, is his father. He kills his father and marries his mother! When he realizes his cruel folly, it is too much for him to bear. He decides to punish himself severely. In the exercise of his free will he doesn’t care for the consequences. Instead of stabbing his eyes, he could have owned responsibility for his evil actions but he exercises his free will for self-punishment.
Exercising free will doesn’t mean, one is assured of success in life always. We are told by Bernard Knox, “At the center of drama is Oedipus with his absolute determination to know the truth. He dominates from beginning to end. The paradox which divides interpreters and ...
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