Croon and Oedipus represent two completely different characters that serve deferent roles in the tragedy. Their differences are emphasized through their actions and speech. Although Croon and Oedipus have some similarities, they represent foils of each other. Croon contrasts strongly with Oedipus and presents himself as Oedipus’ foil. The purpose in Croon being Oedipus’ foil is to highlight certain aspects that both characters possess. One of the biggest differences Oedipus and Croon have Is their view of the gods. Croon never seems to question what the gods say and he shows complete faith in them.
He places their opinion above all else, while Oedipus fails to believe what the gods say and refuses to acknowledge what their predictions portray will happen. One of the reasons why Oedipus may not accept the god’s opinions Is because he Is “blinded by disillusionment, by the lack of faith In himself above all” (Eaton 7-8). If he does not have faith in himself and believe his own thoughts, how can he believe what someone else is saying? Despite Oedipus’ major breakdown after finding out the truth about his past and his father, Croon demonstrates his faith in the gods with his response to Oedipus’ request about being dead.
Instead of abiding by Oedipus’ wishes, Croon tells him that he “wanted the god to clarify [his] duties” and “ask precisely what to UDF’ (Sophocles 1575-1580). Oedipus fails to listen to Croon and “claim[De] to be above the gods themselves” (Hagen ? ). His failure to value and accept the god’s pollens cause him to deny his true fate and over all set himself up to fail. Oedipus proved this by how he tried to get around the oracle. His arrogance also begins to show itself when he asks the chorus “you pray to the gods? Let me grant your prayers” (Sophocles 245).
This demonstrates how he believes he can answer to the people of Thebes Just as well or better than the gods can. Croon and Oedipus represent two men of high social standing. Their power in the city of Thebes is practically equal as Oedipus is the king and Croon is the brother of the queen Coast. Oedipus is a very powerful man, but “what can it possibly mean to have power over other people If one does not have power over oneself’ (Eaton 6-7). Oedipus ends up having no control over his own thoughts or over the crimes he commits in the play.
He cannot avoid what the gods predicted of him because the events already occurred even though he has no knowledge of it. The “fate he tried to avoid Is Inescapable because It has already happened to him” (Chon-Soared 28). Croon did not mind sharing his power equally with Coast and Oedipus, but Oedipus wanted more individual power to himself. Power is what corrupts and metaphorically puts a blindfold on Oedipus. His obsession with being the “king of their land, [their] ‘OFF the city of Thebes that he once thought so highly of (Sophocles 16).
Croon does not let his high power get to him; he remains thoughtful of the people of Thebes and still puts them first before himself. Overall, how equal his power was to Oedipus and Coast caused him to be successful in his status and end up being the beholder of the throne once Oedipus leaves. Oedipus’ overall mindset “allowed him to feel a false sense of control… As he [did] what he had to do and should have never done” (Eaton ? ). Oedipus and Croon are both concerned for the well- being of the city, although Oedipus’ concern deeply decreases as his own personal problems unravel further and further throughout the play.
At the beginning of the play Oedipus always wonders “what [he] might do or say to save [his] city’ (Sophocles 84). He announces o the city how “[his] spirit groans for the city and myself and you at once” (Sophocles 75-76). Croon always has the best interest of the people of Thebes in his mind through the entire play, while Oedipus becomes selfish and consumed in himself. Croon shows this when Oedipus is talking about his city of Thebes, Croon responds with “my city too, not yours along” (Sophocles 705)!
Croon does not let his personal problems get in the way of his ruling, while Oedipus’ personal problems quicken his demise and hurts those he loves. “As a result of a flaw natural to his kind, the tragic hero harms and destroys those he loves most” (Hagen 111-113). Oedipus damages his relationship with his family, counterparts, and the people of his kingdom to an unfixable extent. His natural flaw is his obsession with power and proving the oracle wrong, along with some of his tragic flaws. Croon continues to protect the people of Thebes when he tells Oedipus to leave the city since he was Luaus’ true murderer.
Croon not only wants to protect the people of Thebes, but he also wants to protect Oedipus when he tells the guards to “get him into the halls” to prevent anyone from “see[inning] a kinsman’ shame” (Sophocles 1565-1567). If Screen’s and Oedipus’ roles ere reversed, Oedipus would have probably enjoyed embarrassing Croon in front of the whole city. Croon and Oedipus have different ways they like to share information. Croon likes to keep things more private, while Oedipus likes to share breaking news with the people of his city. Oedipus shows how open he is when Croon asks to speak to him, he says “speak out, speak to [them] all. He] grieve[s] for these, [his] people, far more than [he] fear[s his] own life “( Sophocles 104-106). He wants the people to know why they are going through such tough times; he has no filter when it comes to saying certain things to the people of his city. Croon “hesitates to report the oracle’s mandate in front of the citizens, [but] Oedipus insists he speak publicly’ (Bushnell ? ) Croon wanted to hide the truth of the oracle from the citizens so he tells Oedipus to go “into the palace now’ (Sophocles 1663). He refused to let anyone know about Oedipus and the unsuspected turn of events that came upon him.
Croon wishes to shut Oedipus inside to protect the citizens, he “is worried about protecting the family dirty laundry’ (Chon-Soared 28). In this case, Croon does not want the people of Thebes to find out that Oedipus was the one who murdered their old loved king Alias. The oracles were never in Oedipus’ favor. He was tragically cursed by his own fate every human life is fated to undergo alternating misfortune and good fortune” (Chon-Soared 25). Oedipus suffered from extreme accounts of alternating misfortune. Fate proves to be the antagonist of the play for Oedipus.
Both Screen’s and Oedipus’ fate have no similarity by the end of the play, one ends up sane, while the other is emotionally distraught. “Instead of passively accepting his lot, he took vigorous and consequential actions to eliminate [his] obstacles and solve problems” (Eaton 6). Oedipus is doomed, forced to flee the city, and leave his family behind. Due to Oedipus’ downfall Croon gets the throne. His fate was rewarding rather than excruciatingly punishing. Oedipus overall determines a more treacherous fate for himself than his original fate because he tried to cheat his way out of it.
Croon would have never attempted to cheat his way out of his fate. The way Oedipus continuously tries to avoid his true fate “creates a situation in which Treatise’s words seem to have no value” (Bushnell 96). If Croon was in the same situation in the play, one might conclude that he would not make any brash decisions n order to avoid his true fate since he truly values the god’s opinions. The story of Oedipus the King “call[s] attention to [the] fatal flaws of tyrants,’ leaders and powerful men” (Eaton 3). Tragic flaws prove to cause the downfall of the tragic hero in most tragedies.
Oedipus, being the tragic hero, is suspected of having several different tragic flaws and proves how they damage his life. His violent temper proved to be one of his tragic flaws; after all it was his rash anger that caused him to murder his own father before the play even starts. This represents situational irony s the audience knows about the murder, but Oedipus himself does not. Within the play Oedipus lashes out on Croon when he says: Mimi-here? You have the gall to show your face before the palace gates?
You, plotting to kill me, kill the king- I see it all, the marauding thief himself scheming to steal me crown and power! ” (Sophocles 594-598). Oedipus not only attacks Croon angrily, but also Eateries. Eateries’ “most vital secret is the secret of Oedipus’ past, his parentage, and his crimes” (Bushnell ? ). The secret causes Oedipus to refer to Eateries as the “scum of the earth” and he willingly admits not being able o “restrain his anger hearing [him]” (Sophocles 381 & 386). Croon presents himself to the audience as even tempered, calm, and collective.
He is accused of wanting to steal Oedipus’ crown, instead of getting angry like Oedipus would he gives Oedipus a reasonable explanation as to why he does not desire the crown. Croon constantly dismisses Oedipus’ violent outbursts. Croon does not yell back or get angry himself, instead he asks Oedipus to “hear [him] out, then Judge [him] on the facts” (Sophocles 609). The events that occur in the play cause Oedipus to be extremely emotional, while Croon is calm and has a clear sense of mind. Oedipus was also incredibly stubborn, his stubbornness caused him to “[refuse] to hear and see fully things he did not want to hear and see” (Eaton ? . Oedipus’ stubbornness demonstrates how he never likes to be incorrect and always has to prove himself to people. Croon always has a clear mind before he makes a decision; he does not let events that emotionally torment him cause him to make the wrong decisions for the people of Thebes. For example, judgment to become foggy, while Oedipus let it cause him to not think clearly. Oedipus’ emotional torment is what caused him to “rip of [Octant’s] brooches and dig hem down the sockets of his eyes” (Sophocles 1403-1405). Croon would not have made such a drastic physical decision.
Sight plays a major role symbolically throughout the play. Oedipus who actually had full sight was living a life full of self-deception. “Sophocles, in his masterpiece Oedipus the King, vividly portrays the blindness of Oedipus, caused by his pride, as he refuses to acknowledge the truth revealed by Eateries, the mouthpiece of the gods, taking his disbelief so far as to threaten both Eateries and Croon, both of whom had honestly sought the will of the gods. ” (Hagen 4). Although Oedipus has full sight, he could see nothing at all.
He was blind to everything that was going on around him, while Croon could see the real truth and understood how things would play out. Oedipus fears the truth and does not want to see it that is why he denies it being real. While Oedipus was blind to his sins, fate, and origins when he still had his eyesight, he blinds himself when he can finally see himself for who he truly is. There is irony in this because even though Eateries was blind he knew Oedipus better than he knew himself. Oedipus’ main weakness proves to be his over excessive pride, or hubris.
His pride causes him to be blind from his surroundings and completely clueless about what is actually occurring within the walls of his own city. Croon was one of Oedipus’ most trustworthy companions, so most readers find it ridiculous when Oedipus accuses “Croon, / the soul of trust, [his] loyal friend from the start / [of stealing] against [him]” and of being a “scheming quack” (436-440). The sole reason Oedipus becomes suspicious of Croon is because he fails to see around his over excessive pride. He believes in lies because he cannot see the truth, he is metaphorically blind.
The irony is that Oedipus “the one who can see, sees nothing… The one who can’t see, sees more clearly’ (Chon-Soared 29). The one who sees nothing refers to Eateries and Oedipus once he is blind. Once Oedipus is blind, he can see more clearly than ever before. Oedipus wants to be seen by the people of Thebes as a flawless hero, he believes he can save the city by himself without the help of others. Hubris and impatience are what lead to Oedipus’ overall demise and the loss of those that he found dearest to him.
While Oedipus is an impulsive and arrogant ruler, Croon is the undercover backbone of the city of Thebes. One of the greatest attributes Croon has is his patience. An example of how patient Croon is comes about when Oedipus asks Croon to banish him. Instead of “[driving him] out of the land at once, far from sight,” Croon explains to Oedipus that “first [he] want[s] god to clarify [his] duties” (1 572/1575). Oedipus makes his decisions quickly and irrationally while Croon thinks them through before making them.
Croon expresses his rationality when he responds to Oedipus’ question stating “l don’t know. And when I don’t, I keep quiet” (Sophocles 650). Oedipus is one that is quick to Jump to conclusions, while Croon thinks before he acts. Oedipus represents a dynamic character that transforms from a “masterful, optimistic, confident, and benign” human being into a “suspicious, wrathful, punitive, and tyrannical” dictator (Bloom 22). Oedipus goes through a difficult, yet necessary physically, emotionally, and mentally.
Croon illustrates a static character that remains true to himself throughout the entire play. He remains the trustworthy and forthright man he was all along. As play unfolds, “Oedipus has two personalities… Or more accurately, he reveals two sides of his complex character” (Bloom 22). Croon shows how great of a man he is when he takes care of the people of Thebes at the start of the play. He continues being a good man when he becomes the “only father” Antigen and Kinsmen have left (Sophocles 1647).
Oedipus converts himself from a proud, arrogant ruler that had the loyalty of the people of his city, into an embarrassed outcast that begs Croon to be “drive[en] out of Thebes, in exile” (Sophocles 1668). Oedipus’ change in character is reflected in the following quote: “And who but I have done it all? Myself, to fix damnation on myself! To clasp a dead man’s wife with filthy hands: Hess hands by which he fell. I’d rather disappear from man than see” (Sophocles ? ) This is when Oedipus starts his drastic character change when he finds out he truly killed his father and married his mother.
In the beginning of Oedipus the King, Oedipus looks for anyone else to blame but himself. He blames Croon, Eateries, and the citizens of Thebes for not revealing the killer. However, once he finds out he is the murderer he takes full responsibility for what happened and for committing the crime. Croon proves he is a man full of compassion and forgiveness, while Oedipus is incapable of forgiving anyone. Oedipus refuses to even forgive himself for murdering the king, how can a person forgive others when he fails to be able to forgive himself?
He cannot forgive himself for fulfilling his destiny even though he had no choice. Even after Oedipus says “l want you dead” to Croon, he still forgives him (Sophocles 698). Croon does not hold Oedipus’ rude words against him and he says he “would never expose a thing loft guilt” (Sophocles 1562-1563). Croon forgives Oedipus for his harsh words and accusations. After gouging his eyes out and weeping, Croon still comforts him. Conclusively, by the end of Oedipus the King, Croon emerges as the voice of season and comes out as the wiser person between him and Oedipus.
Both Oedipus and Croon are men of high social standing that dedicate themselves to protecting and doing what is best for their beloved city of Thebes. Croon proves to be the better leader of the two by the end of the tragedy because of his rationality and responsible. Croon remains calm when Oedipus goes on an angry rampage, and when Oedipus asks to get banished Croon still does what is best for him and protects him from the public eye. Through comparing these two high class men, Oedipus proved to be selfish, brash, and unforgiving. Croon, on the other hand, is caring, compassionate, and religious.