Oedipus Rex

The great tragedy Oedipus Rex by Greek tragedian Sophocles centers on the protagonist Oedipus, king of Thebes, and his quest t o save the town from the plague that is crippling the city. The oracle from the gods states that the town is suffering because the murderer of the previous king, Laiis has not been punished for his crime, and in order for the town to enjoy peace again the murderer must be killed. King Oedipus who is unaware of his role in the murder of Laiis begins a relentless campaign to find the killer and bring him to justice. From his argument with Tiresias at the end of scene one to his conversations with Jocasta in scene two, Oedipus's approach changes from one that is confrontational to one that is doubtful.
Towards the end of Act one Oedipus suspects that his brother-in-law Creon, who was also the brother-in-law to the former king killed Laiis out of greed and jealous y and becomes angry. Filled with feelings of betrayal he confronts Creon. Oe dipus is convinced that Creon will not stop his quest for power at Laiis rather he has "plotted to steal [Oedipus] throne" as well. Oedipus fears that his power and life are at stake because of Creon. At this moment Oedipus' feeling of paranoia begin to become visible and is directly accusing Creon for the murder of King Laiis. Additionally, Oedipus sees Creon as a threat that must be permanently disposed of. While Oedipus considered exile for the punishment of Creon, he realizes that his punishment will "not [be] exile. It is your death I want." Creon was once Oedipus' closest companions, but now may face the maximum punishment, death. The feelings of betrayal Oedipus is experiencing forces the king to act out of rage and raw emotion toward his brother-in-law, rather than contemplate and investigate the accusations.
In scene two, Oedipus' demeanor goes through a major shift, his forceful and angry attitude seen in scene one, is replaced with one of doubt and confusion. When Oedipus shares his concerns with his wife Jocasta who is also the widow of Laiis, he is told the story of Laiis' murder in greater depth. After hearing Jocasta's recount of Laiis' death Oedipus begins to see possible connections between the murder he committed before coming to Thebes and the murder of the King. Oedipus now begins to question his innocence and believes than he "must be accurst/by my own ignorant edict." Oedipus no longer blames Creon for the crime that has brought upon the plague; rather he blames Thebes' suffering on his own foolishness. As more details regarding Laiis' life surface, Oedipus' doubts are only solidified. "Think of it: I have touched you with the same hands, / these hands that killed you husband. What defilement!" Once Oedipus is properly briefed on the facts of the crime he begins to understand the truth, that he is in fact not only the sun of Laiis, but also his murderer.
In his writings Sophocles meant to imitate the real behaviors and tendencies of humans. The play Oedipus Rex address several the most prominent being, human arrogance; had Oedipus been able to control his anger and not act to preserve his ego, King Laiis may have not been killed. However, in the eyes of Sophocles most men act similar to Oedipus and allow their own pride to cloud their judgment. Similarly had the people of Thebes investigated the murder of their King, the gods would not have sent the plague, and ju stice would have been delivered long before.