“Let Yourself Be Moved”: Haemon’s Pathetic Affect


Although the use of rhetoric is commonly a heated, debatable topic, rhetorical appeals are all extraordinary important in presenting any form of a claim. In terms of the three imperative appeals, there is clearly one that leaves the other two in a cloud of dust. While the ethic and logical appeals can be unmasked with concrete facts, the remaining appeal is left in the gray area, where anyone is free to adjust it as they see fit. Pathos, which is defined as a petition for catching emotions, dominates the potential arrival of change. By reaching a soft spot in a person, it is then possible to alter their view points on a certain matter. Furthermore, this smile you may create or tear you may cause will be visual, even tangible proof that pathos was efficiently exercised.
Pathos is not simple to proclaim, especially to someone of royal blood, much less a king. Creon needs someone to strike him right at the source of his conflict – his heart. Haemon, the “poster child” of pathos, sways his father’s heart in many directions, almost like a light switch. The light of reason can by turned on or off, depending on Haemon’s word diction. In the passage on Page 24, (Scene 3: Lines 80-91) Haemon extracts images from nature, forcing Creon to examine his morals more closely.
Haemon indirectly compares his father to a stubborn tree and goes on to say that Creon will be pulled from his roots. However, the line immensely important to Haemon’s reasoning was when the youth spoke not only to Creon, but to the entire audience as well. These two sentences sit not only in Creon’s mind, but in that of each individual reader as well. “Forget you are angry. Let yourself be moved.” He is plotting it out in black and white, singing it on the roof tops for every person with compassion to hear. The word move causes a need for some kind of change. Whether it be a big or small change, Haemon lays out in his proposal. What he is proposing is for Creon to let loose his rage, and listen to people, specifically “those who can teach”. If someone is knowledgeable in a particular area, let them teach you, Haemon declares. Age is not a factor either, which Haemon concussively, but effectively addresses. Haemon wants desperately for his father to reverse his thought patterns, before Creon goes head over heels overboard and thereby ending his voyage, the troubling voyage of life.

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