From his treatment of Tiresias and Creon, what can we determine of Oedipus’ character?

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Oedipus is placed upon a tragic journey of self-discovery even before his birth, but he still makes choices along the way. After he is grown, solves the riddle of the sphinx, and marries Jocasta, he becomes king. To end the plague on their city, he tries to find out who killed Laius, her first husband, as his unavenged death is apparently causing the plague.

The blind prophet Teiresias, after some hesitation, tells Oedipus that he himself was the murderer. He reveals this information only after Oedipus berates him and says he must be the killer. The new information, of course, does not please him. He continues to belittle Teiresias, as well as boasting about his own contributions. He accuses the prophet of colluding with Creon, the queen’s brother. This exchange shows Oedipus’ bad qualities: vanity, arrogance, suspicion, and impatience.

His next step seems to go in the same direction. Oedipus goes to Creon with the accusation of conspiracy, and attempts to banish him if he wants to live. When Jocasta interrupts them, Creon takes his leave. As the outcome of the prophecy is revealed, Jocasta cannot endure what she has done, and kills herself. Oedipus decides to live, but blinds himself with her dress pins. Hearing all this terrible news, Creon returns—he had not actually left Thebes yet. In the final scene, the tables are turned. Oedipus goes into exiled at his own request. With his remorse and actions, the audience sees evidence of his nobility. His good qualities are confirmed when he entrusts his daughters’ care to Creon.

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