Neil Young and Creon

Topics: Oedipus, Neil Young, God Pages: 5 (1212 words) Published: November 1, 2013
Scene 5
(Enter blind Teiresias, led by a boy. The opening speeches of Teiresias might be in singsong contrast to the realistic lines of Creon, or perhaps there is another way to establish that Teiresias is 'weird.') TEIRESIAS

This is the way the blind man comes, Princes, Princes, Lockstep, two heads lit by the eyes of one. CREON
What new thing have you to tell us, old Teiresias?
TEIRESIAS
I have much to tell you: listen to the prophet, Creon.
CREON
I am not aware that I have ever failed to listen.
TEIRESIAS
Then you have done wisely, King, and ruled well.
CREON
I admit my debt to you. But what have you to say?
TEIRESIAS
This, Creon: you stand once more on the edge of fate.
CREON
What do you mean? Your words are a kind of dread.
TEIRESIAS
Listen, Creon: I was sitting in my chair of augury, at the place where the birds gather about me. They were all a-chatter, as is their habit, when suddenly I heard a strange note in their jangling, a scream a whirring fury; I knew that they were fighting, tearing each other, dying In a whirlwind of wings clashing. And I was afraid. I began the rites of burnt-offering at the altar but Hephaistos failed me: instead of bright flame, there was only the sputtering slime of the fat thigh-flesh melting: the entrails dissolved in gray smoke, the bare bone burst from the welter. And no blaze! This was a sign from heaven. My boy described it, seeing for me as I see for others. I tell you, Creon, you yourself have brought this new calamity upon us. Our hearths and altars are stained with the corruption of dogs and carrion birds that glut themselves on the corpse of Oedipus's son. The gods are deaf when we pray to them, their fire recoils from our offering, their birds of omen have no cry of comfort, for they are gorged with the thick blood of the dead. O my son, these are no trifles! Think: all men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride. Give in to the dead man, then: do not fight with a corpse--What glory is it to kill a man who is dead? Think, I beg you: it is for our own good that I speak as I do. You should be able to yield for your own good. CREON

It seems that prophets have made me their special province. All my life long I have been a kind of butt for the dull arrows of doddering fortune-tellers. No, Teiresias, if your birds--if the great eagles of God himself should carry him stinking bit by bit to heaven, I would not yield. I am not afraid of pollution: no man can defile the gods. Do what you will, go into business, make money, speculate in India gold or that synthetic gold from Sardis, get rich otherwise than by my consent to bury him. Teiresias, it is a sorry thing when a wise man sells his wisdom, lets out his words for hire! TEIRESIAS

Ah Creon! Is there no man left in the world--
CREON
To do what? --Come, let's have the aphorism!
TEIRESIAS
No man who knows that wisdom outweighs any wealth?
CREON
As surely as bribes are baser than any baseness.
TEIRESIAS
You are sick, Creon! You are deathly sick!
CREON
As you say: it is not my place to challenge a prophet.
TEIRESIAS
Yet you have said my prophecy is for sale.
CREON
The generation of prophets has always loved gold.
TEIRESIAS
The generation of kings has always loved brass.
CREON
You forget yourself! You are speaking to your King.
TEIRESIAS
I know it. You are a king because of me.
CREON
You have a certain skill; but you have sold out.
TEIRESIAS
King, you will drive me to words that--
CREON
Say them, say them! Only remember: I will not pay you for them. TEIRESIAS
No, you will find them too costly.
CREON
No doubt. Speak: Whatever you say, you will not change my will. TEIRESIAS
Then take this, and take it to heart! The time is not far off when you shall pay back corpse for corpse, flesh of your own flesh. You have thrust the child of this world into living night,...
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