Power Corrupts

Essay by leogirlA-, July 2004

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In the house of Oedipus, everyone gets so infatuated with power that their judgment gets distorted, and they do things that they later regret. The only possible exception is Antigone, the daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta, princess of Thebes. It happened to Oedipus, Jocasta, and Creon. When Oedipus got power, it led to his downfall, and eventually death. When Jocasta got power, it lead to her suicide, and when Creon got power, it led to the death of Antigone, the death of his son, and the death of his wife. You might even go as far as to say that this corruption caused by power in the house of Oedipus is a curse.

Oedipus came to Thebes with pure intentions. He was trying to escape his fate, handed down to him by the God Apollo. He was raised in Corinth, by King Polybus and Queen Merope. Oedipus was foretold to murder his father, and marry his mother, so he left Corinth, never to return.

When he arrived at Thebes, the Sphinx monster was strangling everyone who could not answer it's riddle. Oedipus answered the riddle, and was made King of Thebes. Once he was king, he became so infatuated with power, that he did selfish, and cruel things. He mocked Tiresias, the blind prophet, who was only trying to help him, when he said (page 21) "To your heart's content, mouth away !". Tiresais accused Oedipus of murdering his father, which he later found out he did, but he continued to mock Tiresias, and he gets confident. "You think you can go blabbering unscathed ?" he asks. He also says (page 22) "You can't hurt me, you night-hatched thing! Me or any man who lives in light". This infatuation with power, causes Oedipus' downfall. He learns that...