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Fate In Candide And Oedipusrex Essay, Research Paper
Voltaire and Sophocles were both philosophers of their time. They used their literary works in order to express their notions of the different aspects of the world in which we live. Voltaire s Candide and Sophocles Oedipus Rex are two works in which the author s use the protagonist s to express their notions of fate and how strongly this is conveyed in their image.
Pangloss in Candide is the image of Voltaire s philosophical ideas and Candide is the voice. The theory that Candide believes in so strongly, It follows that those who maintain that all is right talk nonsense; they ought to say that all is for the best , or everything happens for the greater good, is the basic view of how strongly Voltaire believes in the notion of fate. By using a character other than the protagonist to explain why Candide believes the theory, Voltaire can use the protagonist to question and play with the theory.
This is to be compared with Sophocles who expresses his notions of fate not with a theory but instead a character s actions in which the protagonist thinks so strongly to be true. The Oracle is the equivalent of Pangloss and therefore Candide and Oedipus are also the equivalent because like Candide, the Oracle is the voice and Oedipus is the voice. The outstanding relevance to the notion of fate in the novels is the way the protagonists have to make their decision of how strongly they want to believe in fate, both characters have different views.
This theory does seem to take a great deal of effect upon him and the way he thinks and acts in the different situations he finds himself in. He expresses how strongly he believes in Pangloss s theory when he accepts the loss of his dear Lady Cun gonde;
There is no effect without cause, replied Candide
modestly. All things are necessarily connected and
arranged for the best. It was my fate to be driven from
Lady Cun gonde s presence ..Things could not
Have happened otherwise.
Not only does this show how strongly Candide believes in the theory but how the theory is connected with fate the writer s notion of fate and how it is displayed through Candide.
Candide questions Pangloss s theory many times throughout the duration of the novel, he contradicts himself continuously over the matter, as he says at one point;
for that is what Mr. Pangloss used to tell me.
I am convinced by your courteous behaviour
that all is for the best.
Then he questions this by saying;
I shall have to renounce this optimism
the passion for maintaining that all is right
when all goes wrong with us
This could possible be Voltaire s own questioning on his notions of fate. This would be feasible to say as Voltaire often questioned his own philosophies.
In the end there has to be a choice or decision in which Voltaire expresses his final feelings of how he sees fate. This is expressed not through Candide but through the eyes of the Old Woman and confirmed by Candide with a question that goes as such;
I should like to know what is the worst,
to be ravished a hundred times by negro pirates,
or just to stay here with nothing to do? [old
woman] That s a difficult question said Candide.
Voltaire therefore believes that all events in life lead up to the greater good, this is Voltaire s notion of fate expressed in Candide and this is achieved through using Candide to express this.
The most obvious expression of fate in Oedipus Rex is the storyline. The whole story is based on the fact that Oedipus s life was driven by fate. This notion is passed by the Oracle who is in some ways like Pangloss, who advises Oedipus of his fate in which he brings himself down with. By the Oracle telling Oedipus s parents his fate, did this in anyway have any effect on his fate is possibly one of the deeper, in-depth issues of fate which could have effected the outcome of the story. Therefore the roots of Oedipus Rex are based on fate.
Oedipus lived out his fate in the way the Oracle told, therefore by marrying his mother and murdering his father
Incomplete words- 723
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