Analysis of Creon's Speech and Reflection of His Character

Topics: Oedipus, Sophocles, Creon Pages: 4 (1721 words) Published: May 12, 2013
CrHow is Creon’s character introduced through his opening speech in the First Episode (lines 159-195) and how does this speech create tension? Time spent: 2 hours
Starting in media res, the audience are informed of the death of Eteocles and Polyneices through the Oedipus’ family sisters, Antigone and Ismene’s heated conversation. Creon, as the closest blood relative of the throne, succeeds as ruler of Thebes and comes to power. Creon gives a full and honorable burial to Eteocles, praising his loyalty to the state until death, while inflicting Eteocles’ brother, Polyneices, non-burial and the eternal punishment of rotting on the battlefield held against charges of treason. Whoever attempts paying Polyneices full honour after death, including appropriate libations and formal laments, would be entitled to the harsh, violent punishment of public stoning. Gathering a group of central and influential characters in private, Creon gives out his first speech with the context of introducing his principal political beliefs and establishing authority, along with addressing the audience, in particular the Chorus, for the first time and also more importantly, justifying his proclamation of the two adversely different treatments to both brothers of royal Greek blood. His character is reflected in his speech, colliding with that of Antigone. Also, with the use of dramatic irony and structuring, his speech creates an atmosphere of tension. In general, Creon utilizes rhetoric techniques to persuade his audience, the Chorus. In his speech, Creon employs the use of honorific, so as to politely and persuasively sway the Chorus to accept his point of view. For example, upon starting his speech, Creon addresses his audience courteously, “Gentlemen, after tossing the life of our city on the great waves of the ocean, the gods have safely righted it once more.” (159-60) In the sentence, Creon is civil in addressing the Chorus. In doing so, he enforces a positive image upon himself and...
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