71 pages 2 hours read



Fiction | Play | Adult | BCE

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Scene 2 and 2nd Ode

Scene 2 and 2nd Ode Summary

Among his counselors, Kreon announces his own right of kingship due to his bond through his sister’s marriage to the previous king, Oedipus, and the fateful death of Oedipus’ sons. Kreon argues that leaving Polyneikes unburied is his duty to the people of Thebes, since though a citizen, Polyneikes attacked Thebes as an enemy. Kreon charges the Chorus to uphold his decree, and the Chorus acknowledges that to disobey him would mean death, and “no one’s such a fool as to be in love with dying” (251).

A guard, afraid of being put to death for his news, enters hesitantly and tells Kreon that in the night someone has buried the corpse of Polyneikes in a thin layer of dirt and disappeared. Kreon demands to know who has done this, and the terrified guard swears that neither he nor any of the other guards saw anything.

At this, the Chorus leader announces that he suspects this burial was the will of the gods, but Kreon angrily rejects this assumption. He accuses the guards of taking bribes from discontented Thebans to bury the corpse and vows that if they do not find out who has committed this crime, they will all be hanged.

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By Sophocles