Oedipus the King
Oedipus the King
by Sophocles
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Oedipus the King Theme of Power

Power both corrupts and metaphorically blinds characters in the Oedipus the King. As a ruler, Oedipus is arrogant, unperceptive, and downright mean to people around him. Assuming other characters are trying to steal his power, Oedipus doesn't listen to their wisdom.

Questions About Power

  1. How is Oedipus the King at the beginning of the play different from Oedipus the cursed man at the end?
  2. What gives a character power in this play?
  3. Remember the Oedipus accuses Creon of plotting against him in order to get more power. Does Creon seem satisfied being the King's brother-in-law?

Chew on This

Try on an opinion or two, start a debate, or play the devil’s advocate.

Oedipus’s downfall is only made possible because of his power as king. He suffers because of the power he possesses – the power that allows him to coerce others into speaking and extract the information he needs.

Next Page: Memory and the Past
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