Antigone and Creon Homework

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ASSIGNMENT #1:

 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.

 

TEXT

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

troubles.

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

As she.

To his men.

Go get her!

A few of KREON’S men go into the royal house

to find ISMENE (Antigone’s sister).

CHORUS LEADER.

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

for you.

KREON You feel no shame that you don’t think as they do?

ANTIGONE No —no shame for revering those from the same

Womb.

KREON Wasn’t he who died against him of the same blood?

ANTIGONE Of the same blood—the mother and the father, the

Same.

  1. ATTITUDINAL FREE WRITE: Write Text Below. Take five minutes.

 

  1. Focused Free Write: What seems to be the problem between Antigone and Creon?

More to read: A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Last Updated on August 30, 2020 by Essay Pro