Cécile Duteille

An Anthropological Reflection on the Idea of the ‘ Fateful Encounter ’ : The Example of Œdipus Rex

Starting from the Œdipus Rex myth, this paper questions the links that exist between the concepts of Encounter and Fate. Fist, a surface reading of the myth will highlight Encounter as implicitly determined by Fate (in the sense of doom and predestination). However, a more critical reading will reveal the opposite : Encounter can redefine Fate, and it is perhaps more appropriate to speak, in this sense, of Destiny. From this new perspective, encounter is no longer situated in its naturally percieved space, i.e., in the exteriority of a face-to-face encounter (e.g., Œdipus and his father, Œdipus and the Sphinge, etc.) ; rather, it is now located where meaning can develop for the individual, i.e., in the interior self.