Fate and Free Will
“I do not believe in a fate that will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing. ” this quote was in the First Inaugural Address by Ronald Reagan in 1981. The decision between fate or free will is a very popular subject. When people hear those word they think. Religion is a very big factor in whether people choose fate or free will. The play “Antigone”, by the ancient Greek writer Sophocles in 442 B. C. E. , has a great example about the dispute between fate or free will.
Although the play does have more than one theme or moral to it the fate or free will theme stands out. This play shows the way the ancient Greeks felt about fate or free will and how it shows both are necessary in life. Fate is always there, as in free will has planning and different situations going on in the environment. Fate is what decides the choices one made for free will. ” But I will burry him; and if i mist die,/ I say the crime is holy”(Sophocles 55-56. 730).
At the start of the play, the fate of Antigone was to live, but her free will is what enabled her to make the decision to disobey Creon and the civil law, aggainst the burial of her brother. When she choose to break the law and disobey Creon, her fate was deatend at the end of the play, Antigone’s fate would have changed again if Creon is talked out of her punishment by Haemon and decides to let her live. ” … I beg the Dead/ To forgive me, but I must yield/ To those in authority. And I think this is dangerous business/ To be always meddling”( Sophocles 49-52. 730).
Antigone’s sister Ismene’s fate was in the beginning to live on, but she decided to used free will and help protect her sister, that puts her fate into question and is then put in the hands of Creon. Ismene plans to be put to killed, but because her fate depends on Creon, his free will is her fate. Creon decides to spare her life which means her fate is to live. This situation is an example of how free will does affect fate. In the first two plays of the trilogy Oedipus the story goes that Oedipus married his mother which was a sin, and that is what cursed his children.
Antigone blames her fathers curse for her young death. ” Their crime, infection of all the family! / O Oedipus, father and brother! / Your marriage strikes from the grave to murder mine”(Sophocles 39-41. 754). In this quote Antigone about to die and is fearful so she yells at her about how it was her fathers fault for everything. The chorus explains to her that it was her choice, her free will that is the reason. It shows how fate and free will are connected and how she choose her own fate.
In the play “Antigone,” fate and free will have in important role. Honestly fate and free will are even there is not one greater than the other. They actually help each other out. Life would go no where if all there could be is free will. If there was only fate to look forward to, there would be no excitement or surprise in life. Reading “Antigone,” Got me thinking that you can’t have one by its self there has to be both. if there was only have fate, or free will, the world would become a catastrophe.