How does Creon act as a foil to Oedipus? 

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

A foil is a character who contrasts the protagonist to highlight the main character's qualities and traits. In Sophocles's classic play Oedipus the King, Creon serves as Oedipus's foil. Creon is Oedipus's brother-in-law who is depicted as a humble, rational man. Throughout the play, Creon's humility and reasonable disposition highlight Oedipus's primary traits and attributes.

Despite Oedipus's selfless, resolute nature, he is portrayed as a brash, irrational man. He refuses to believe the blind seer Teiresias and accuses him of being in a league with Creon. Oedipus also challenges his fate and refuses to exercise perspective or composure. Oedipus is not a pragmatic, discerning king and succumbs to his emotions.

Creon's character serves as the ideal foil for the stubborn, impetuous Oedipus. Unlike Oedipus, Creon values the oracle's message and respects the will of the gods. When Oedipus rashly accuses Creon of betraying him, Creon maintains his composure and appeals to reason. He rationally...

(The entire section contains 5 answers and 1207 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team