Oedipus and Creon in Sophocles' Oedipus the King

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Oedipus and Creon in Sophocles' Oedipus the King

At first glance, Oedipus and Creon are two very different people. But as time progresses their personalities and even their fates grow more and more similar. In Sophocles’s play “Oedipus the King”, Oedipus and Creon are two completely opposite people. Oedipus is brash and thoughtless, whilst Creon is wise and prudent. In “Oedipus the King”, Oedipus effectively portrays the idea of the classic “flawed hero”. He becomes arrogant and brash. He accuses Creon and Tiresias of treachery. Even worse however, Oedipus goes against the gods. This causes them to punish him severely. Creon is the exact antithesis of Oedipus. He thinks before he acts. Creon is wise and loyal. In Sophocles’ other play, “Antigone”, however, he undergoes a drastic personality change. He becomes more and more like Oedipus. Creon commits acts of hubris, kills and humiliates people for no reason whatsoever. Once he realizes the folly of his ways, he punishes himself for going against the gods and destroying all that he loved, This is strikingly similar to the story of Oedipus. At first Oedipus and Creon seem like entirely different people. But through the course of events, they share almost identical personalities and even fates.

In “Oedipus the King”, Oedipus is a brash and arrogant ruler while Creon is his patient, thoughtful right hand man. After Oedipus and his sons all die and Creon becomes king of Thebes, he begins to grow wilder and even more out of control than Oedipus was. In “Oedipus the King” Oedipus accused Creon of bribing Tiresias, the blind prophet, to make a prediction that will doom Oedipus. He accuses Creon of “plotting to kill the king” (189). He does this without any concrete evidence or proof. Oedipus rationalizes that because Creon induced him to “send for that sanctimonious prophet [Tiresias]” (190), he is responsible for the prophecy. Oedipus assumes that “if the two of you [Creon and Tiresias] had never put heads together, we would never have heard” (192) the prophecy. Creon even calls Oedipus a man is full of “crude, mindless stubbornness” (190). Oedipus lashed out at Creon for “betraying a kinsman” (192). He did so without any evidence or proof. He just did accused Creon without thinking about the consequences. Although Creon stands against rashness and unthinking now, he soon becomes another Oedipus. ...

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...e world that you can name” (237) Creon receives a very similar punishment. He too, loses all he deems valuable in the world. Creon will not allow Haemon to marry Antigone. He condemns their marriage and greatly distresses his son, Haemon. As a result of Creon’s actions, Haemon commits suicide, “his blood spilled by his very hand” (120). Eurydice, Creons’s wife, also kills herself. She is so wracked with anguish by Haemon’s suicide, that she “stabbed herself at the altar” (126). Creon “murdered… his son… and his wife.” (127). He has nowhere to “lean to for support” (127) and no-one to “look to” (127). The chorus sums up his and Oedipus’s fate when they say “ The mighty words of the proud are paid in full with mighty blows of fate, and at long last those blows will teach us wisdom” (128)

Creon and Oedipus were obviously very similar people. They both rose through chance and circumstance and they both fell because of their brashness and hubris. Creon started off as a very different person to Oedipus. But once he became king, he immediately became an almost identical person to Oedipus. He was rash, unthinking and uncaring. This resulted in his downfall just as it caused Oedipus’.
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