The Rulers of the Thebes: Oedipus vs. Creon

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Matthew DeKoker
Honors English 12
Mrs. Kelly
09 October 2006
The Rulers of the Thebes: Oedipus vs. Creon

The stories of Oedipus Rex and Antigone highlight the ups and downs of Oedipus and Creon as they rule over the people of Thebes. Many of their mistakes are similar, but for the most part they were very different in their authority. Both characters show rage, pride and impulsiveness, but the way each character handles their problems as ruler was very different. Another example of differences between the two was how each is ruined and the way they handle their demise. By looking at each ruler's faults and weighing them out, we discover that Oedipus is the better ruler.

As each story unfolds, we notice many similar qualities being shown through the rule of Oedipus and the rule of Creon. Creon and Oedipus both portray rage and how impetuous they are at many times throughout these stories as they struggle with issues that they face as rulers. One example of this is when Oedipus encounters a chariot on the highway which pushes him off the road. Oedipus "struck him in [his] rage […] [and] killed him" (Scene II. 283-288). This plus the fact show that the man he strikes down is actually his father, shows how impulsive and driven-by-rage Oedipus' actions are. Creon's harsh judgments against Antigone show his rage rashness as he sentences her to be buried alive. Another way their impulsiveness is shown is how both characters disregard what Teiresias tells them and Oedipus even fail to heed the warning from the Gods about the events that are destined to happen. Pride is what drives both characters to their ultimate demise, blinding them from seeing the evils that are occurring right before their very eyes. This pride prevents Oedipus from seeing the very fact that he is the murderer of King Laius which he has invested so much time and energy into finding. When Creon and his son, Haimon argue over principles of wisdom and rule, Haimon states that any man who...
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