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The Oedipus Cycle

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  • Essay length: 933 words
  • Submitted: 11/07/2002
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AS and A Level Classics

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Sophocles presents us with two men in the Oedipus Cycle, Oedipus, and his uncle Creon. Both are rulers of Thebes and share in their similarities as kings, fathers, and deservers of their fate; yet their similarities are few, while their differences number. Although Oedipus and Creon share these similarities: political, familial and religious (that is to say their gods and fate) their lives are quite different.

As kings, they both become rulers of Thebes by a twist of fate. Oedipus kills the sphinx and becomes king. After his exile, his sons kill each other, leaving Creon king. Both have sons that disrespect them. Oedipus's sons turn a blind eye as he is banished from Thebes. "These were the two / who saw me in disgrace and banishment/ and never lifted a hand for me" (Oedipus Rex: 108). Haimon threatens Creon's life and vows that Creon will never see him again. "And you will never see my face again. / Go on raving as long as you've a friend to endure / you" (Antigone: 223). He even goes so far as to call his father perverse. "If you were not my father, / I'd say you were perverse"

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