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Sheesh. When is power ever a good thing in literature?
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... even though he's acting for the always-nebulous "good of the people." Assuming other characters are trying to steal his power, Oedipus doesn't listen to their wisdom.
Questions About Power
- How is Oedipus the King at the beginning of the play different from Oedipus the cursed man at the end?
- What gives a character power in this play?
- 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
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.