The Use of Chance in Oedipus vs. Chronicle of a Death Foretold

In: English and Literature

Submitted By jillwindsor
Words 1172
Pages 5
Jillian Smith anderson IB English Period 2
4 November 2012
The Use of Chance in Chronicle of a Death Foretold versus Oedipus the King Chance can serve many different purposes in works of literature. Whether it is to display a certain idea or to simply add to the author's writing style, chance can have a very significant effect on a reader or an audience. In Oedipus the King by Sophocles and Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcia Marquez, both writers use chance to develop their plots. The chance events are what further the plot and eventually lead to the main characters’ downfall. Chance, however, also has different purposes in the works, as Marquez uses it as an element of his magical realist style of writing, while Sophocles uses it to portray Oedipus’s unavoidable fate. The multiple events involving chance seen throughout Oedipus the King lead towards the idea of one’s inevitable fate and the futility of trying to go against it. While Oedipus was fleeing Corinth and trying to escape the prophecy that said he would kill his father and marry his mother, he “came near to [a] triple crossroad and there [Oedipus] was met by a herald and a man riding on a horse-drawn wagon […] the old man himself tried to push [Oedipus] off the road,” (Sophocles 57) and in return Oedipus “killed the whole lot of them” (Sophocles 57). While trying defy his fate Oedipus was unaware that he was actually fulfilling the prophecy, by killing his father. It was completely by chance that Oedipus would happen to meet his father at that exact moment, and that they would have a conflict. Chance is also present regarding Jocasta’s fate. She committed hubris, attempting to go against the gods, by refuting the prophecy and sending her newborn child with a shepherd to die on the mountainside. While the Corinthian messenger was “watching over [his] flocks on the mountainside […] [he]…...

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