The King Must Die

Characters

Aigeus

Characters Aigeus

Aigeus is Theseus' father, and, although he is a good ruler, he lacks Theseus' passion for life. The stress caused by years of ruling under the constant threat of war has worn him down. Aigeus is a good man who cares deeply for his son and when Theseus arrives in Athens it reinvigorates him. After Theseus volunteers to go to Crete he is crushed, and from Theseus' perspective he is not such an admirable character, but in reality, he is simply a father reacting to the possibility that he will lose his son. Moreover, the older Theseus who tells the tale seems to be closer to Aigeus then to the younger Theseus the story describes. By the time he reaches old age, Theseus has seen many hardships and much toil. Aigeus' character may represent the result of trying to do the best for the people. It is not always possible to achieve positive outcomes, ruling sometimes requires choosing the lesser of two evils. Aigeus, is a man who has tried his entire life to succeed at a job that everyone eventually fails at. His attempt is noble and instructive. Theseus, however, believes he will do better.