Remorse in Greek Myth It is stereotypical that protagonists in myths are always doing everything right. However, some protagonists make mistakes on their decisions and cause devastating tragedy; therefore, they are going to feel guilt and remorse. For instance, the main character Oedipus in the famous tragedy “Oedipus Rex” and Creon in “Antigone”, both written by Sophocles, are examples of how protagonists suffer from different degrees of remorse due to their mistakes.
However, Oedipus exhibits higher degree of remorse than Creon, which is shown through the sufferings of his relatives, severe punishments and his request to abandon his power. To begin with, Oedipus is more heart-broken after he kills his relatives and shows more remorse than Creon. As Oedipus travels to Thebes in order to find his natural parents, he kills an old man unintentionally; Oedipus later knows that an old man is his father. Moreover, he becomes the new king and marries the widow Queen Jocasta since he kills the monster. However, Jocasta is astonished when she hears the truth, Oedipus kills his father, which eventually leads her to commit suicide, she chooses to “hang herself in horror at the grotesque deed she had unknowingly committed” (Sophocles 3).
Oedipus suffers greatly from the deaths of the ones him beloved. Although unwillingly, Oedipus’ actions are responsible for this tragedy since his parents and his wife are all directly and indirectly killed by him. Similarity, Creon’s wrong decision also leads his relatives face the tragedy. As a new King, Creon cannot allow others to break his rule.
Therefore, Creon kills Antigone since she insists to bury her brother Polynices which breaks Creon’s order. Sadly, Antigone’s death causes Creon’s son and his wife to die. When Creon hears this devastating tragedy, he tells himself “there is no man can bear this guilt but I. It is true, I killed him. Lead me away. I live no longer” (Sophocles 16).
Although Creon’s family’ deaths are also caused by his mistakes, he act less responsible than Oedipus. Both Creon and Oedipus feel guilty due to their actions, but the agony of Oedipus if much greater since he takes more responsibility when Creon acts as if nothing happened.