What does Creon, in Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, mean by saying "I am not the man to long for royalty rather than royal power?"What's the difference between royalty and royal power

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thanatassa eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the great ironies of the play “Oedipus the Tyrant” (as its title is correctly translated into English) is that it is the story of Oedipus as the tyrant (single ruler by popular acclaim) of Thebes. It is only at the end of the play when Oedipus discovers his true parentage that he is revealed as the legitimate hereditary king; we discover that he is royalty at the moment he renounces royal power, blinds himself, and leaves Thebes.

Creon, as brother of Laius, is of royal blood, and legitimately, by that heritage, could have claimed the throne when Oedipus was a mere tyrant. For the sake of Thebes, and because he does not wish to be a ruler, Creon instead tries to support the rule of Oedipus. He wishes the power to the right things for Thebes (royal power) but does not want to be a king (royalty).

maeria | Student

Creon is Queen Jocasta's brother and by this line he means that ihenever wanted to be a king because he already has power equal to a king. He says that he has the same respect as oedipus has being a king but oedipus also has to face worries of Thebes while he is free from these worries so he is preferring his power that he has without being a king