Sophocles' Oedipus the King

In the tragedy Oedipus the King by Sophocles, Oedipus's brother-in-law (Jocasta's brother) Creon is a good example of the modern-day saying "Don't shoot the messenger" particularly in terms of Oedipus'sreaction to Tiresias's earlier prophesy that Oedipus would kill Laius and marry Jocasta.Oedipus and Creon are also very opposite one another in their attitudes, behavior, and piety. Although Creon eventually develops into a more complex, even wrathful character in the two later tragedies by Sophocles built on Oedipus the King (Antigone and Oedipus at Colonus) Creon in thisfirst of the three plays is calm, reasonable, matter-of-fact, and uninterested in exercising power by being King; while Oedipus is quite the opposite:anxious; unreasonable; prideful; interested in maintaining power, and disrespectful of the Gods.Throughout the play Oedipus shows hubris while Creon shows humility.
A symptom of the hubris of Oedipus is that he refuses to accept the truth if the truth displeases him.For example, when Oedipusfirst speaks with Tiresias, he concludes that Tiresias and Creon must have conspired together against him to oust him from the throne so Creon can inherit Thebes.However, as Tiresias accurately tells Oedipus, (Sophocles, Oedipus the King line 434):"Creon is not your downfall, no, you are your own."
Although at the beginning of the play Oedipus strongly believes Creon has hatched a plot against him, Creon's own insistence, in lines 663-667, that he himself has no interest whatsoever in becoming King, rings true.As he states, "How could kingship please me more than influence, power without a qualm?I'm not that deluded yet, to reach for anything but privilege."Then, not content to have Oedipus simply take his word, Creon adds (lines 677-679):"Do you want proof?Go to Delphi yourself, examine the oracle and see if I'v…


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