Comparing the Strategy of a Runner with that of King Oedipus of Oedipus Rex and Creon of Antigone
A runner must use a strategy that is specific to that style of racing. If a distance runner attempts to apply pacing to a short sprint he has lost the race before approaching the start. Although racing strategies differ between every individual race it is possible to associate some basic strategies used in particular types of races. These techniques are common amongst the runners of a particular event but vary compared to runners of different types of races.
Oedipus and Creon are two new rulers that seek to establish their legitimacy to the authority of the Thebes’ throne. Oedipus sought to find approval and identification with the people of Thebes by ending a plague. Creon emphasized national unity and obedience to laws that benefit the state. Similar to the runners of separate types of races Oedipus and Creon approach the problem of establishing authority in different ways. Oedipus has the mindset of a sprinter and approached each arising problem with the same tactics. Creon is likened to a distance runner that is trying to have his team win a track meet. Viewing the characters as different types of runners allows for insight as to justification why each character fails to gain the legitimate authority they desire.
The 110m hurdles is a race that requires exactness. The runner must have solid technique in each aspect of the race including the start, stride length and rhythm developed in the race. The start of the race is explosive because every moment in a short race is tremendously important. The hurdler’s steps throughout the race are calculated; an exact number of strides taken to the first hurdle and then a set number taken between hurdles. Any variation of stride throws off the necessarily rhythm critical to establishing clearance of the hurdles and achieving optimal speed for the runner.
Oedipus rules similar to how a hurdler runs. He begins to seek solutions to the plague before the city appeals for his help. “I have acted at once… to learn what I might do or say to save our city,” shows Oedipus’ seriousness and quickness to search for an end to the plague. He wastes no time beginning the race immediately searching for a solution to the problem.
The way in which Oedipus attempted to solve the problem plaguing Thebes most resembles a runner overcoming hurdles. Each hurdle is cleared using the same method applied to every other hurdle. Oedipus only uses one technique to find his needed solution and this is to demand information of individuals. It began with his insistence that Creon, “Speak out, speak out to all of us” (163). Later Oedipus threatened the chorus to give up any information they might be hiding offering to, “Come speak up. I will give him a handsome reward… but if you keep silent—I order you,… to banish this man” (171-172). ...