Creon's Role of King and His Responsibilities

1273 WordsOct 8, 19996 Pages
Creon's Role Of King and His Responsibilities The role of the king in the time of Greek tragedies was simultaneously desired and dreaded because of the king's responsibility to the people and because of the effects of the position on the king's character. Creon reveals such ambivalent thoughts towards the kingship in his speech defending himself from Oedipus's conspiracy accusation in Oedipus the King; these ambivalent thoughts reveal much about the nature of the kingship, especially in conjunction with Creon's later actions in Antigone. In attempting to refute Oedipus's assertion that Creon has taken part in a conspiracy to obtain the kingship, Creon evaluates the nature of the kingship and of his present role. First, he says,…show more content…
1128-1129). Creon's words and actions in Antigone indicate that he has taken on the negative characteristics of king that he describes in his speech in Oedipus the King. He has same amount of power as king, but he now seems to have lost his wisdom and self-control. This indicates that perhaps his words to Oedipus are, in fact, mainly an insult to the position of king and to what it evokes from a person's character rather than an insult solely directed towards Oedipus. Creon also feels that the king is generally not responsive to the desires of the citizenry: "But if I were the king myself, I must/ do much that went against the grain" (36.590-591). By this, Creon means that in his present position, he is more apt than the king to know the will of the people and to respond accordingly. Again, this seems to be a flaw inherent in the kingship based on Creon's actions in Antigone. As king Creon is blind to the fact that the people of Thebes are opposed to his actions concerning the punishment of Antigone. One who is not king, Creon's son Haemon, senses the will of the people: But what I can hear, in the dark,are things like these: the city mourns for this girl; they think she is dying most wrongly and most undeservedly of all womenkind, for the most glorious acts. (188.746-749) Haemon
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