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Analysis of the Scene Involving Creon and the Blind Prophet Tiresias

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Autor:   •  August 10, 2011  •  Case Study  •  712 Words (3 Pages)  •  1,586 Views

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One central figure to Antigone is the blind prophet Tiresias who possesses gifts of prophesy and guidance. In this chapter, he arrives to the scene led by a boy, and attempts to convince Creon to reverse his selfish decision of not burying Polyneices, who is one of Antigone's brothers who died in the Civil War between brothers.

In those times, to be denied a full burial after death is considered shameful and demoralizing punishment not only to the deceased but also his/her immediate families. This is the reason why Antigone has taken on the responsibility of burying her brother. Aside from Antigone, only Tiresias dared to confront the King about the wrongful non-burial and proceeds to challenge Creon on his inflexibility and stubbornness in regards to Polyneices' non-burial:

All men make mistakes, it is only human.

But once the wrong is done, a man

can turn his back on folly, misfortune too,

if he tries to make amends, however low he's fallen,

and stops his bullnecked ways. Stubbornness

brands you for stupidity - pride is a crime.

No, yield to the dead!

Never stab the fighter when he's down.

Where's the glory, killing the dead twice over?

(p. 112, 1135-1140)

This clearly agitated Creon to no end, and he quickly shuns and insults old Tireisas, his once trusted advisor. Creon then further demonstrates how his lust for power and desire to be right can overcome sound judgment:

All men fall,

It's only human, but the wisest fall obscenely

When they glorify obscene advice with rhetoric -

All for their own gain.

(p. 112, 1160)

Like Creon's sons Ismene and Haemon before him, Tiresias is also hurt and angered by Creon's suspicions and insults, so he then changes from a distraught seer to an angry old man ready to give Creon a piece of his mind.

Tiresias: You are the one who's sick, Creon, sick to death.

Creon: I am in no mood to trade insults with a seer.

Tiresias: You have already, calling my prophesies a lie

Creon: Why not? You and the whole breed of seers are mad for money.

Tiresias: And the whole race of tyrants lusts for filthy gains.

Tiresias then proceeds to reveal his prophesy about the


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