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Thread: Oedipus......destiny/fate?

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Oedipus......destiny/fate?

    I have an assignment for my English Class and the assignment was to write an essay analyzing the important role of fate and or destiny... does that mean they want me to write about what Oedipus was presdestined to do?? or something like that????? please help!!!!!!!

  2. #2
    Very interesting question. First lets try to define destiny vs. fate based on dictionary/search engine, to decide if there is any real difference.

    also, see this thread:

    Perhaps we should ask ourselves IF OEDIPUS HAD ANY CHOICE... could he have made any DIFFERENT choices, which might have changed the course of events?

    Milan Kundera says something interesting in his essays on "The Art of the Novel" regarding Oedipus. I will take a look when I get home in a couple of hours, I will look it up. I will try to post more, if I can, to help you.

    This link looks interesting and helpful:

    and this link too

    GOSH! There is such a WEALTH of info on this topic... and it pertains to something that I have been wanting to write about with regard to the Book of Job, and the concept of "unknown sins" in various religions.

    Which wont help you with your paper, but it is quite an incentive to me to read through all these things....
    Last edited by Sitaram; 07-17-2005 at 11:36 PM.

  3. #3
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    hahaha wow thank you!!! yeah the directions are very ambiguous.
    here are the directions

    600-800 word essay analyzing the important role of fate and/or destiny in both ways.(in both plays??) DO NOT summarize the plot or use personal pronouns. Use specific examples from the text to support your thesis.

    i was confused at first.... and i still am kind of. What the teacher meant by both ways is that she wanted us to like analyze the role of fate and destiny in Antigone and Oedipus the King......

  4. #4
    So, when is the deadline for this paper? Tomorrow? Next week?

    I will post links that I find regarding Antigone here:

    I should mention that I have been thinking about the difference between fate and destiny. I think there is a slight difference.

    Think of it this way. Think of the American History term "Manifest Destiny" (I need to look that up next). It would not have had the same force to say "Manifest Fate".

    A religious person might say something like "God created humans with a destiny to conquer the earth and then travel to the stars." We would speak of such matters in terms of destiny rather than fate.

    Someone who is "ill-fated", makes some unfortunate choices, is at the wrong place at the wrong time, and as a consequence, suffers a certain "fate".

    The young man in the movie Titanic, who wins a ticket on the voyage, is not necessarily DESTINED to die on the Titanic. It is his fate.

    I think it is more usual to see the word "destiny" used for positive goals or greatness, where as the word "fate" is frequenty associated with something negative.

    Someone might say to his lover, "We are DESTINED to be together" or "You are my DESTINY" but not "you are my FATE".

    For example, we hear the expression "a FATE worse than death", but it would sound odd to say "a DESTINY worse than death".

    Ancient Greek mythology speaks of "the three FATES" but not "the three DESTINIES".

    According to one internet page on Philosophy, Heraclitus said that one’s destiny was not determined by fate, luck, Greek gods, or birth signs. Your destiny is determined by your character alone.

    Here is an interesting page of quotes on Destiny:
    Last edited by Sitaram; 07-14-2005 at 08:12 PM.

  5. #5
    I have not hear back from you yet, concerning a deadline for your paper, but it is now Friday, and the weekend is almost upon us. I may devote a lot more time to thinking and writing about this topic over the weekend.

    It occurs to me that true Freedom is the antithesis of Fate/Destiny.

    Sartre comments, in the opening pages of "Being and Nothingness", that we are "condemned to be free", for any attempt to choose to relinquish our freedom requires freedom as a prerequisite.

    Let us make some investigation into ideas of freedom, free will, fate, destiny and predestination, and we will add to these terms the notion of NECESSITY.

    Let us consider the amusing expression "willy nilly" (which is sometimes spelled wily nily).

    The Latin phrase 'nolens, volens' means the same thing,

    Two slightly differing but related meanings. 'Whether you like it or not' and ' in a haphazard fashion'.

    The origin centres around the first of those meanings. The earlier form was 'will he, nill he' or sometimes 'will I, nill I'. The expression also appears as 'nilly willy' or 'willing, nilling'.

    The early meaning of the word nill is key to this. In early English nill was the opposite of will. That is, will meant to want to do something, nill meant to want to avoid it. So, combining the willy - 'I am willing' and nilly - 'I am unwilling' expresses the idea that it doesn't matter to me one way or the other.

    The Latin phrase 'nolens, volens' means the same thing, although it isn't clear whether the English version is a simple translation of that.

    There's also a, now archaic, phrase 'hitty, missy' that had a similar derivation. That comes from 'hit he, miss he'.

    The earliest citation is from Middleton 1608:

    "Thou shalt trust me spite of thy teeth, furnish me with some money wille nille."

    Quote Originally Posted by Examples of usage from google search

    Rather than investing wily nily, she needs a financial plan based on her goals

    Allowing the mind to calm itself, not following any thought wily-nily. ...

    showed a lot of insensitivity by demolishing the houses wily-nily. ...

    dirty and clean dishes mingled wily-nily on the counter. ...

    Instead of letting everything run wily-nily to the breeze, we felt that it
    would be best to clearly define certain character roles

    I think a lot of people really pick a screen name wily-nily without realizing

    Here is a very interesting passage from the writing of Martin Luther, father of the Protestant Reformation, and he even uses the term "willy-nilly"

    Quote Originally Posted by Martin Luther stated that
    "Salvation is not of our own strength or counsel, but depends entirely on the working of God alone; so does it not obviously follow that when God is not present to work in us, all is evil, and of necessity we act in a way that contributes nothing towards our salvation? For if it is not we, but God alone, who works salvation in us, it follows that, willy-nilly, nothing we do has any saving significance prior to His working in us and all that is done after our salvation is His working in us as well."

    "God is the only independent agent that there is. And if we believe it to be true, that God fore-knows and fore-ordains all things; that He can be neither deceived nor hindered in His Prescience and Predestination; and that nothing can take place but according to His Will; then, even according to the testimony of reason herself, there can be no "Free-will"-in man,--in angel,--or any creature!"
    It seems to me that the idea of destiny contains the notion of irresistable, regardless of what we want or do not want, regardless of our actions or inaction. By contrast, our fate seems to be based on free will choices that we have made in the past. We see this in expressions such as "once he did that, his fate was sealed."

    Calvin, the Christian theologian of the Protestant Reformation is most famous for his doctrine of Predestination. His teachings are sometimes called Five Point Calvinism, and the five points are denoted by the acronym T.U.L.I.P.

    Total Depravity (also known as Total Inability and Original Sin)

    Unconditional Election

    Limited Atonement (also known as Particular Atonement)

    Irresistible Grace

    Perseverance of the Saints (also known as Once Saved Always Saved)

    Let us throw a new term into the mix, Necessity (in ancient
    Greek, Anangke).

    I think it is essential for us to realize that for ancients, such as
    Hesiod, and also for Sidhartha Gautama, the historical Buddha, God
    (or the gods) are subject to fate or necessity.

    Even the Judaeo-Christian God is subject, since it is written in the Bible that God CANNOT lie, and cannot revoke a testament or contractual agreement.

    Emphasis on predestination is always made by a religion so that the
    absolute sovereignty of God will not be compromised.

    In modern religions, it is ONLY the ALLAH of Islam who is portrayed as absolutely free and omnipotent, since the Qu'ran says that Allah may "abrogate" or nullify even Allah's own rules and regulations. Islam teaches that Allah foreknows the salvation and damnation of each soul from
    before the creation of the world. Once the question was asked why Allah bothers to let the souls be born into the world, rather than put them directly in heaven and hell. The answer is that those in hell would forever complain that they had not been given any chance, and that if they had been born, they would have been well-behaved. So, Allah allows the wicked to be born, so they may prove by their own life and actions that they are worthy of damnation. At least, this is the argument as I understand it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Prometheus Bound
    Aeschylus emphasizes the importance of necessity and its relation to time. Human beings are referred to as "creatures of a day," and so clearly inferior to the immortal gods. But while Zeus is immortal, he is not therefore an eternal ruler. Zeus's father Chronus overthrew his own father Uranus, and Zeus in turn overthrew Chronus. Chronus, like Prometheus, was one of the Titans and belonged to the older ruling class. Zeus is one of the younger gods, and the fact that he is a "new" ruler is mentioned repeatedly. The newness of Zeus's reign suggests that his position is not as stable as he would like to believe.

    Prometheus reveals that he has knowledge of the future and can see the extent of Zeus's power through time. As Prometheus tells us, the ultimate power is not Zeus, but necessity. Even the gods must live out their fate, and all they do is preordained. The important message here is that the passage of time is governed by necessity, by which both the mortals and the immortals are trapped. The gods may be superior to human beings, but the gap between them is not as wide as Zeus believes.
    As I look at what ancient Greeks, such as Heraclitus and Parmenides, said about fate and destiny, the two words seem almost interchangeable in those times. But in more modern times, I feel certain that the words "fate" and "destiny" came to have different meanings.
    Last edited by Sitaram; 07-15-2005 at 05:14 PM.

  6. #6
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    OOo this essay is like due in september so i have a lot of time.. dangggggg THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE INFORMATION!!! your so kind! ^__^

  7. #7
    September! Why, this is wonderful! We have all the time in the world.

    Over the weekend, I will try to look through Antigone as well.

    But it is important that you do all of your readings and try your best to do the paper on your own.

    Do not sit back that think that I will be able to produce a paper for you. Even if I do produce an essay, it will not look like an essay that you wrote.

    But, I am sure you know these things.

    I shall certainly make every effort to read through Oedipus and Antigone, and post key verses I find which illustrate matters pertaining to fate/destiny/necessity. I shall also post here what Milan Kundera says about Oedipus in his "Art of the Novel" essays.

    I would like to share with you how I feel all of this relates to the Book of Job (which I mentioned earlier.)

    In the beginning of the Book of Job, it is mentioned that Job makes sacrifices (prayers/offerings) for his children lest perhaps they have commited some unknown sin or offense in ignorance.

    This question of wheter or not it is possible to sin or offend unconsciously is a very important question.

    It is somehow related to the difference between Judaism and Christianty, whereby, in Judaism, one may THINK any thought or fantasy that one likes, but it becomes a sin ONLY when one acts out (such as committing adultery), whereas Jesus says that "to lust in ones heart" (fantasize) is to already have committed the sin.

    These issues lead to Humes ideas regarding cause and effect, and the famous "Hume's gap", whereby Hume states that one can find no "IS" which demands an "OUGHT". (i.e. there is nothing in logic in the physical world from which one may reason to or from which one may deduce a moral or ethical "ought", a duty or obligation).

    It suddenly dawned on me, this afternoon, that 500 words is so short a paper to do justice to such a topic.

    I did write a paper this past year which had to do with an interesting topic involving literature and ethics, and it had to be 2500 words, and I found that a comfortable length to do some justice to the topic.

    Also, bear in mind, that all of these posts at this forum find their way into the search engines very quickly. Often, when I search for something, the engine returns a link to something I posted here. This is something you should keep in mind, in case you have a teacher that spends a lot of time on the Internet.
    Last edited by Sitaram; 07-15-2005 at 05:44 PM.

  8. #8
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    hmm yeah my teacher said to list my sources when i quote from the book. but yeah. im not the one who copys or plagirizes so you shouldn't worry too much. hmmmm.... i still have to read antigone so i think that will take me at least a week? but thank you for all your help in finding me the links!

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