Character Analysis of Creon from the Oedipus
Creon has the highest prominent presence in the play other than the main character and the reason for that is the power that his character is vested with and how through his acts and reasons he proceeds onto achieving his goals and mission. Creon’s parsimony, manipulations, and having an equal power as Oedipus and Jocasta led him to be successful in his status and as well as to be the beholder of the throne.Upon reading the play initially one gets the notion of him having a bureaucratic orientation but that is not so.
In fact, he has strong inclination towards human law and social order with regard to the stability of the society and he uses his intellect and secretive acts to prove that by the end of the play. He is shown as wise and having a free opinion under less influence of the society and the people around him. His mind is powerful like many citizens and political personnel of Thebes. He event beats the minds of the Jocasta and Oedipus combined when later on his action plan is revealed.Creon represents a political figure that holds high esteem for social order but his secretive accts lead the audience to think otherwise. Much of the initial preconception about his character has to do with the fact that he is shown in isolation with the people of Thebes when the play starts off.
Only later on is his character really shown to have much interest in the society. He was isolated in the way that his interests were depicted as different and his way of doing things was termed as separate from that of the citizens of Thebes. When we compare him to Oedipus the difference is quite obvious. When Creon brings news from the oracle he suggests to tell it to Oedipus secretly and in private who is opposed by Oedipus who would rather have heard the news in the presence of the public with their ears having the right to know of it too. On Creon’s defense, his thinking was more like a business man with political orientation and thus, he is master of manipulation, who speaks when the time is right whose every action has a meaning and who sees his audience before uttering anything. Reflecting on the same occasion, Creon does not tell upon constant insistence from Oedipus along with that of Jocasta, Creon equivocates and dissembles happily, which was his yet another act of manipulation.
Creon brings forth his opinion and reason against the king in lines 651-690 that Oedipus and Jocasta rule together surely but not with equal power which according to him he is opposed to as Oedipus is merely the king for the sake of the title and nothing else. His opinion, when seems awkward to the audience, later on is favored when he is ordered to be banished. The audience then shares sympathy with him. Oedipus’s decisions at that time seem unreasonable and foolish whereas Creon becomes the reasonable man with a strong intention for the social order and rulership equality.Creon surely captures the audience during this situation, where he is being punished for his individual reasoning and strong opinion. It could be said that this yet again another act of manipulation.
Later on, he proves his real intention. Through the voice of equality and public acceptance from the citizens of Thebes, his main inclination is to capture the throne and vanquish Oedipus. This is only evident in the last scene of the play where Creon expresses his intentions to throw the king in exile and take over as a king and set him apart from his children. For the sake of obtaining the title of the ruler he was willing to go that far.Creon, thus, proves that his real intention was to overthrow the king and toke over the thrown.
His motives were not social order and social stability. In fact, what he longed for was power and to achieve it he was willing to go far beyond others of his time. He is a businessman, when it comes to analyzing the environments and situations and strategic thinking and planning. He is a politician and yearns for future developmental programs to gain public vote and interest and acceptability of the citizens of Thebes. He is a master of manipulation, where he uses his words and actions as tools to achieve his main goal to become the ruler which he eventually does. He used his mind and shaped his actions under the light of business, politics and society.
How did manipulation work for him? It did tremendously. Consider the audience alone, who continues to take on different perceptions and notions of him as he depicts his different colors. One time he is a secretive rat like figure and one time he is the centre of sympathy for all. Considering the king and the citizens of Thebes, the Oedipus and Jacosta, where one time are against him, do ponder over what he says and despite of the fact that Creon is just one individual, his power to manipulate the truth and his real intentions, wins the game eventually. He then reveals his true self. He took on the objects of equality and social order as mere means to an end.
He was not a diplomat, a bureaucratic or a hero for the nation. He was actually a man with a hidden agenda and through his power of the mind he overcomes all challenges and achieves what he desired.