Often in life humans tend to think that they control their own fate. In the play Oedipus Rex, Sophocles can be seen as teaching a moral that fate is pre-determined and that humans cannot escape their own destiny. Oedipus, Lauis, and Jocasta all try to control their own fate, however, they find out that they cannot escape their destiny. Lauis is one of the characters in Oedipus Rex that tries to control his fate. When he asks a oracle at Delphi to tell him his prophecy and the oracle tells Lauis that he and his wife Jocasta will have a child, however, the oracle also tells Lauis that he will die at the hands of his son.
Since Lauis is told this he decides to kill the child when it is born. Once the child is born Lauis makes the baby's feet bound together and exposes it on a lonely mountain where he thinks it will soon die. After Lauis does this he has no more fear about getting killed by his own son. However, a shepherd would save the baby and eventually the baby Oedipus would become a man and accidentally kill someone who would turn out to be Lauis his father. Even though Lauis tries to control his own fate, in the end his prophecy turns out to be true. Jocasta addresses the fact that Lauis tries to make sure that he can control his own fate.
"But his child had not been three days in this world before the King had pierced the baby's ankles and left him to die on a lonely mountainside. Thus, Apollo never caused that child to kill his father, and it was not Lauis' fate to die at the hands of his son, as he had feared." (Oedipus Rex II. ii). What Jocasta is saying is that Lauis didn't want to die at the hands of his son so he tried to control his fate by having the baby killed. However, Lauis learns the hard way that fate cannot be messed around with. Another character that tries to control his own fate is Oedipus.
Oedipus like Lauis is also told his prophecy by an oracle at Delphi. The oracle tells Oedipus that he will kill his father, marry his mother, and have children. Since Oedipus is told this he decides to never go back to Corinth where his mother and father live. However, Oedipus believes Polybus is his father but he really is not. So Oedipus is really not getting away from his real parents, it turns out that he is actually getting closer to them. This is one way of how Oedipus tries to control his own destiny.
As Oedipus is on his way to Delphi he is almost forced off the road by the man and Oedipus ends up falling on the man and killing him. The man turns out to be Lauis his real father, so Oedipus ends up killing his father without even knowing it. Oedipus also ends up marrying Jocasta who is his mother. By doing this Oedipus has fulfilled his prophecy of killing his father and marrying his mother. Even when Oedipus does know what he has done he still doesn't admit it to himself, he keeps digging for more evidence until it is very clear that he is the murderer of Lauis. As Oedipus is finding out that he might be the murderer of Lauis he says, "Ah if I was created so, born to this fate, who could deny the savagery of God? Oh holy majesty of heavenly powers! May I never see that day! Never!" (Oedipus Rex II.
ii). By saying this Oedipus is saying how upset he will be if his prophecy turns out to be true. Jennifer Lewin says in her criticism about Sophocles, "Ultimately, while we can regard Oedipus as both admirable for his leadership skills and noble intentions and imperfect for his overconfidence and harsh treatment of others, he is a figure whose fate inspires pity and terror because of his ability to endure misfortune." (Lewin 1). Lewin is saying that even though Oedipus is admirable he is doomed by his destiny. It can be seen that even though Oedipus shows admiration because of his search for the truth he continually tries to alter his destiny and escape his fate. Jocasta porta rys another example of how people try to change their fate and escape their own destiny.
Jocasta knows that Oedipus is the murderer of her husband Lauis who is also the father of Oedipus and Jocasta knows that Oedipus is her son because a messenger from Corinth tells Oedipus that Polybus was not his father and that he got Oedipus when he was a baby from one of Lauis's erv ants. Though Jocasta is pretty sure that Oedipus is her son she tries to stop Oedipus from finding out the truth because she does not want the truth to ruin her life. When the messenger is telling.