Struggle: Oedipus and Uncle Creon Essay

Submitted By talco123
Words: 2007
Pages: 9

“But there is suffering in life, and there are defeats. No one can avoid them. But it’s better to lose some of the battles in the struggles for your dreams than to be defeated without ever knowing what you’re fighting for.” (http://thinkexist.com/quotations/struggle/) Struggle is an emotion that most people feel and go through, throughout their lives. Although struggle can build strength in a person, it can also provide disappointment and harm. In the stories “Antigone” by Sophocles translated by E.P Watling and “Oedipus Rex” by Sophocles translated by John Bennett and Moira Kerr, it is clear that Oedipus faces a greater struggle compared to Creon. Both of these men have a lot of royal power that they are not able to handle, which leads to the ruin of the royal family in both situations and this leaves them each a lot of guilt.
Being King in the Thebes seems to be a hard role to play and looks as if there is a lot of pressure put on him. Creon having a lot of power as king was not able to handle it all and did make many wrong decisions. When Oedipus first died, his two sons were fighting over sharing the role of being king, they fought on the battle field and they both died. Their uncle Creon was then announced the next king, and said that only one of the sons would be honoured and buried while the other son would be left on the battlefield to be eaten by vultures because he did not support Thebes. Antigone, the sister, wanted to bury the other brother as well, and thought it was unfair not to honour both of them. Creon would not defy the law even though it was for family. Creon struggles as king because he cannot make the right choice when faced with a hard decision. After Antigone had broken the law, Creon had confronted her and told her that what she did was not allowed because one brother was bad and one was good. Creon’s unfaithfulness and arrogance not only shows between the sons but with Antigone too. “Go then, and share your love among the dead. We’ll have no woman’s law here, while I live.” (Watling 13) Now that Antigone went against Creon’s word, Creon did not know how to approach the situation or how to punish Antigone. Creon struggles with the power as king and having a family at the same time.
The struggle Oedipus went through was very different, and was hard to prevent. When Oedipus was first born his mother the Queen of Thebes had given him away because of a prophecy her husband was told. When Oedipus heard about the prophecy that he would kill his own father, he decided to move to Thebes. When Oedipus was on his journey to Thebes on a road that there were three crossings, he came across two men in a carriage that almost ran him over. Oedipus became angry quickly and brought both of the men on the carriage to their death. He then came across a Sphinx who challenged him with a riddle that Oedipus was able to answer, at that the Sphinx killed herself. When he arrived in Thebes, the citizens were all very happy that he had defeated the sphinx and he was praised by them all, soon after that he married the queen of Thebes Jocasta. Oedipus’s struggle began when blight was brought upon Thebes and could not be fixed. He then sent Creon to find out why this was happening from an oracle. When Creon came back he told Oedipus that the gods were mad because Thebes had protected the man who killed the previous king. Oedipus threatened to exile the murderer, but he found out that it was him who had killed the king which he did not believe. Oedipus was not happy with what he had been told “Angered more than ever, Oedipus told the old man to get out of his sight and never come near him again.” (Bennett & Kerr 2) Oedipus struggles with being king because he cannot bring himself to believe that he had killed the king and was causing the blight on Thebes. Oedipus’s struggle was greater than Creon’s because Creon brought his struggle upon himself, when Oedipus did not know how the death of one man could affect all of…