Creon in Oedipus the King In this paper I will be making 3 major points about Creon. First I will explain the role Creon plays in this drama. Next I will explain some of the values Creon represents in this story. And for the last I will be examining how essential Creon is to the way this situation plays itself out. Other than the obvious roles Creon plays in this story (Jocasta's brother and Oedipus' brother-in-law), Creon plays a very big role and is a part of the most significant points in this drama. In the beginning of the story Creon visits the oracle at Delphi to find out what the curse on Thebes is being caused by.
Upon his arrival to Thebes he informs Oedipus of what the oracle said: "Drive the corruption from the land, don't harbor it any longer, past all cure, don't nurse it in your soil - root it out!" (164). This means that the murder of Laius set a plague on the city. By being the one to go to the oracle, Creon puts himself in the position of having to help Oedipus get to the root of the problem. At this point Oedipus and Creon are okay. There aren't any problems between the two of them. However, as the story goes on, that changes.
Creon convinces Oedipus to call upon the prophet Lord Tiresias. He knows everything there is to know and Creon knew that he would be able to help figure out who murdered Laius. Oedipus hears what Lord Tiresias has to say about the matter and he does not like it at all. Oedipus thinks that Creon "put the prophet up to spreading lies" (188).
This puts Creon in a very sticky situation with Oedipus. Oedipus loses all trust for Creon and thinks that he is plotting to kill him and steal the thrown. This, however, is not true at all. Creon even says that he would rather not be king. He is equal in all decision making with Oedipus and Jocasta. So why would he want the extra hassle of actually having to be the king.
Oedipus doesn't listen and wants to have Creon banished or killed. Shortly thereafter Oedipus learns the truth. He gouges out his very own eyes when he sees that Jocasta killed herself. At this point his attitude towards Creon changes and he requests his presence. Creon automatically assumes the role as king. Oedipus tries to convince Creon to put him into exile, but Creon feels that he should check with the gods first.
The right thing to do turns out to be banishment for Oedipus. So by being a better person, Creon allows Oedipus to say goodbye to his children. So throughout this story Creon's role changes significantly. In the beginning he is an equal, a trusted family member whose opinion was valued. In the middle of the story Oedipus hates Creon, he is not trusted. But in the end the most significant of changes takes place.
Creon becomes the ruler of Thebes and Oedipus must do what he says now. My second point will explain some of the values Creon represents in this story. I feel that Creon represents truth and honesty throughout this drama. He has strong values and he loves his city so much that he focuses on making the right decision for the people as well and the royal family. Even though Oedipus accused him of lying and plotting against him, Creon still honors him by letting him speak his word and say goodbye to his children, before he is exiled. Creon has a strong personality and seems to have even stronger morals.
Most in his situation would have sent Oedipus away already. For my third point I will be examining how essential Creon is to the way the situation plays itself out. Creon obviously does have a significant affect on the way things are played out. Even if his involvement may have seemed harmless, by delivering the news from the oracle and requesting the presence of the prophet Creon makes himself a target for Oedipus. Oedipus begins to focus more on Creon's deceit than on what he needs to do to find out how to cure Thebes.
Had Creon not delivered the news Oedipus would not have accused him of being a liar. Creon really helped in finding the true reason why their city was cursed. And once Oedipus realized the truth and disabled himself, Creon assumed the role as king. This gave Creon the right to decide Oedipus' fate.
So Creon really does play a major part in the way the situation plays itself out.