April 8, 2011
Creon's Foil in Sophocles' Plays
Contrary to the traditional definition of a foil, Creon is a foil to himself in Oedipus the King and Antigone, demonstrating the corrupting influence of power. Showing one man's life perfect, serving his King till blasphemy reasoning and being blood thirsty for power overtakes his actions until it is to late.
In the two plays written by Sophocles (Oedipus the King and Antigone),Creon displays hypocritical mannerisms in Antigone, the sequel of Oedipus Rex. In the First play of the Oedipus Cycle, Oedipus the King Creon acts humane wishing peace from the Gods and eluding controversy with their punishment of the plagues. He listens more than speaks but does so with wisdom and calmness, never easy to anger and does not portray himself as jealous of power. In Oedipus the King, Creon states he is quite content and would not want the cares and responsibilities that come with being king (Cook 32). This shows how in the third book of the Oedipus cycle, Antigone, Creon acts as a foil towards himself. He does so by craving authority as king and being inhumane by sentencing anyone to death that disobeys his higher and unwritten laws from the Gods (Bain).
In Oedipus Rex, Oedipus weeps to Creon after Iocaste kills herself finding out she married her own son and bore children. Oedipus states to him, “Creon, son of Menoikeus! You are the only father my daughters have, Since we, their parents, are both of us gone forever. They are your own blood: you will not let them fall into beggary and loneliness; you will keep them from the miseries that are mine! Take pity on them; see, they are only children, friendless except for you. Promise me this, Great Prince, and give me your hand in token of it.”Cook 52-53) Creon takes his hand and confirms Bailey 2
the promise therefore obligating himself to being Godfather and protector of Antigone, Ismene and the rest of Oedipus' children. If...
Cited: Bain, David M. "Antigone: Overview." Reference Guide to World Literature. Ed. Lesley Henderson. 2nd ed. New York: St. James Press, 1995. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 22 Mar. 2011.
Cook, Albert. Oedipus Rex A Mirror For Greek Drama. Belmont, California: Wadsworth Publishing Company, Inc., 1963. Text
Fitts, Dudley, Robert Fitzgerald, The Oedipus Cycle. English Version. Harcourt, Brace and World, Inc. 1939. Text
O 'Brien, Joan V. Guide to Sophocles ' Antigone. London: Feffer and Simons, Inc. 1978., Text.
"Overview: Oedipus Rex." Drama for Students. Ed. David M. Galens and Lynn M. Spampinato. Vol. 1. Detroit: Gale, 1998. Literature Resources from Gale. Web. 22 Mar. 2011.
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