Yet another of Oedipus’ dual roles involves that of king and man. As King of Thebes, as he states at the start of the play, it is his duty to work to rid Thebes from the dreadful plague which blights it, and – as it turns out – this ends up being an unconscious self-sacrifice. Yet Oedipus, by demanding that Creon exile him from Thebes, does remove the plague (himself) from the city. Ultimately, then, his public role is given priority of his private one. This is further evidenced by the death of his wife (and the later death of his two sons, Polyneices and Eteocles) – in exactly the way that Creon’s public decision brings about the implosion of his family in Sophocles’ Antigone .