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Word Count: 1,255
The role of the king in the time of Greek tragedies was simultaneously desiredand dreaded because of the kings responsibility to the people and becauseof the effects of the position on the kings character Creon revealssuch ambivalent thoughts towards the kingship in his speech defending himselffrom Oedipuss conspiracy accusation in Oedipus the King these ambivalentthoughts reveal much about the nature of the kingship especially in conjunctionwith Creons later actions in Antigone In attempting to refute Oedipuss assertion thatCreon has taken part in a conspiracy to obtain the kingship Creon evaluatesthe nature of the kingship and of his present role First he says Considerfirst if you think any one would choose to rule and fear rather than ruleand sleep 36584-585 By this Creon means that the main difference betweenhis position and the kings is that of the accompanying action to rulingIn both positions one is a ruler who holds great power over the state Howeverthe king is placed in a greater place of accountability to the people Thisaccountability is what Creon says inspires fear in the king for if affairsof state or of the people fall into decline the king is the first personwhom the citizenry look to blame This is analogous to executive leadersthroughout history as one can see in looking at American presidents andthe correlation between the present conditions and events of the nation tothe publics opinion of the president regardless of the actual impactthat his decisions may have made in these conditions Creon maintains thathe has the same amount of power as the king but without the accountabilitythat inevitably leads a king to distress Creons reasoning concerning the equality betweenhis power and Oedipuss leads him to state I was not born with such a frantic yearningto be a king- but to do what kings doAnd so it is with every one who has learnedwisdom and self-control36587-590He means that he has never desired the position of king because he seesno advantage over his present
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