For this, your first assignment, I’m asking you to complete two kinds of writing: an Attitudinal Free Write and a Focused Free Write. Each will be a frequent kind of assignment. To begin, read the passage included at the beginning on the document. Read it once with no annotation and no pausing – you are reading just get a sense of it. Read it again, this time highlighting any important words, phrases, or ideas that stand out (use the highlight or underline function in Google Docs for this). Once you have read it twice and annotated the passage, proceed to the Attitudinal Free Write and Focused Free Write.
Attitudinal Free Write:
You are about to write for five minutes straight. Make sure you have a timer ready. Name, describe, and elaborate any moral or ethical attitudes you detect in the passage. These may be overt or implicit. Once you name them, write about them in any way that makes sense to you. Put a timer for five minutes on, and do not stop until five minutes is up.
Focused Free Write:
You will again write for five minutes straight for this part of the assignment. Respond to the following prompt in any way that makes sense to you: What seems to be the problem between Antigone and Creon?
There is no need to edit or improve whatever you have written. The purpose here is just to exercise our abilities for ethical reflection and attention.
The following passages are taken from a play by Sophocles (497 – 406 bce), Antigone. As the play begins, Kreon has just ascended to the throne of Thebes after a bloody civil war. The war was caused by a rebellion instigated by Polyneices, his nephew. Polyneices and his brother, Eteocles, were the sons of Oedipus, the previous ruler of Thebes. When Oedipus dies, the two brothers fight for control of the city. Polyneices leaves for the nearby town of Argos, a longtime rival of Thebes, and convinces the Argives to help him attack his own hometown of Thebes and give him control. During this battle, both brothers are killed, and that is when Kreon ascends to the throne. The first law that Kreon decrees is that no one from the rebellious army may be given an official burial (an important religious rite for the Ancient greeks), and that includes his own nephew, Polyneices.
Antigone is Polyneices’ sister (and therefore Kreon’s niece). She defies Kreon’s order and buries her brother. The passage below is taken when Antigone is brought before Kreon and confesses her crime.
KREON To ANTIGONE.
You! You turning your head away, to the ground—
Do you admit or deny that you did this?
ANTIGONE I admit I did it; I do not deny it.
KREON turns to ANTIGONE.
You — answer briefly, not at length — did you know
It was proclaimed that no one should do this?
ANTIGONE I did. How could I not? It was very clear.
KREON And yet you dared to overstep the law?
ANTIGONE It was not Zeus who made that proclamation
To me; nor was it Justice, who resides
In the same house with the gods below the earth,
Who put in place for men such laws as yours.
Nor did I think your proclamation so strong
That you, a mortal, could overrule the laws soo
Of the gods, that are unwritten and unfailing.
For these laws live not now or yesterday
But always, and no one knows how long ago
They appeared. And therefore I did not intend
To pay the penalty among the gods
For being frightened of the will of a man.
I knew that I will die —how can I not? —
Even without your proclamation. But if
I die before my time, I count that as
My profit. For does not someone who, like me, 510
Lives on among so many evils, profit
By dying? So for me to happen on
This fate is in no way painful. But if
I let the son of my own mother lie
Dead and unburied, that would give me pain.
This gives me none. And now if you think my actions
Happen to be foolish, that’s close enough
To being charged as foolish by a fool.
CHORUS (a group of advisory elders) LEADER To KREON.
It’s clear this fierce child is the offspring of her fierce
Father! She does not know to bend amidst her
KREON To CHORUS LEADER.
Understand that rigid wills are those
Most apt to fall, and that the hardest iron,
Forged in fire for greatest strength, you’ll see
Is often broken, shattered. And with only
A small sharp bit, I’ve noticed, spirited
Horses are disciplined. For grand ideas
Are not allowed in someone who’s the slave
Of others. . .
First, this girl knew very well
How to be insolent and break the laws
That have been set. And then her second outrage
Was that she gloried in what she did and then
She laughed at having done it. I must be
No man at all, in fact, and she must be
The man, if power like this can rest in her
And go unpunished. But no matter if
She is my sister’s child, or closer blood
Relation to me than my whole family
Along with our household shrine to Zeus himself,
She and her sister by blood will not escape
The worst of fates—yes, I accuse her sister 540
Of conspiring in this burial, as much
To his men.
Go get her!
A few of KREON’S men go into the royal house
to find ISMENE (Antigone’s sister).
Earlier I saw her
Inside, raving, out of her wits. The mind
Of those who plan in the dark what is not right
Will often find itself caught as a thief.
But I hate even more those who when captured
In evil acts then want to make them noble.
ANTIGONE Now you’ve caught me, do you want something more
than my death?
KREON I don’t. If I have that, then I have everything.
ANTIGONE Then why delay? To me, your words are nothing
Pleasing, and may they never please me; likewise,
My nature displeases you. And yet, for glory,
What greater glory could I have gained than by
Properly burying my own true brother?
These men would say it pleases them — if fear
Did not lock up their tongues. But one-man rule
Brings with it many blessings —especially
That it can do and say whatever it wants.
KREON You alone among the Thebans see it this way.
ANTIGONE These men see it, but shut their craven mouths
KREON You feel no shame that you don’t think as they do?
ANTIGONE No —no shame for revering those from the same
KREON Wasn’t he who died against him of the same blood?
ANTIGONE Of the same blood—the mother and the father, the
- ATTITUDINAL FREE WRITE: Write Text Below. Take five minutes.
- Focused Free Write: What seems to be the problem between Antigone and Creon?
Last Updated on August 30, 2020 by Essay Pro