Comparison Between Creon and Oedipus



             Compare/contrast Oedipus and Creon as Leaders.

             In the plays Oedipus of Rex and Antigone by Sophocles, Oedipus and Creon exert similar characteristics as leaders that ultimately result in their characterization as tragic heroes. Their overbearing determination, relentless pride, uncontrollable fate, and enormous grievances all portray the inevitable outcome. Sophocles writes that the characters in the plays are chasten not because of something they had done in the past but merely it is their fate. Oedipus and Creon can not stop their fate no matter what great lengths they go to. Revealing that catharsis is created when the audience has pity or fear when they see that bad things can happen to good people. For this purpose, neither Oedipus nor Creon where good leaders because both were hypocritical tragic heroes. .

             Initially, both Oedipus and Creon exert an overbearing determination that can be the tragic flaw that destroys their lives. However, both have contrasting motives. Oedipus was determined to find the killer of King Laius saying, "As for the criminal, I pray to God- whether it be a lurking thief, or one of a number- I pray that that man's life be consumed in evil and wretchedness and as for me this curse applies no less." (World Lit 316). Creon' s motive of determination was not to back down from his word and law. The law was whoever buries Polyneices would be publicly stoned to death, since Polyneices didn't deserve a proper burial for his actions in war. Creon later finds out that Antigone has buried her brother and Creon replies " She has much to learn. The inflexible heart breaks first, the toughest iron cracks first, and the wildest horses bend their neck at the pull of the smallest curb.Breaking the law and boasting of it. Who is the man here she or I, if this crime goes unpunished?" (Western Literature 692) Neither Oedipus nor Creon wants to show that they are weak leaders so they ironically empower their tragic flaws with what they think is right.

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