Christina Harrigan

					Christina Harrigan Grade 12 Unit Plan – Drama/Mythology Unit Day 1 – Oedipus Rex Introduction Lesson/Daily Objective – Students will identify the genre of tragedy and develop an understanding of the plot behind Oedipus Rex. Students will discuss one of the key themes in the play, fate versus free will. Tools/Technology – World Literature textbooks, Oedipus Rex Mythological Background handout. Essential Question/Content and concepts covered – Are our lives predetermined by fate, or are humans creatures of free will? How did myths/drama shape the identity and beliefs of the Ancient Greeks (place these on board)? Beginning / “Do Now” – On a piece of paper, list the ways people try to predict their futures (fortune cookies, horoscopes, astrologists, tarot cards, etc). Do you think these attempts are believable? Students share their answers. How do people explain major changes of fortune in their lives? How do you think Ancient Greeks tried to determine what would happen in their lives? People at that time used many different ways as well, including soothsayers, oracles, astrology, and other techniques. Citizens of Ancient Greece believed that their lives were predetermined; that they were destined to follow fate. People were constantly trying to discover their fate. In the play we are going to read, the main character has gone to great lengths to fight against his fate, the prediction made about his future. Do you believe in fate, or do you feel humans are creatures with free will? Do we truly make decisions that direct where our lives go, or are our paths predetermined? Middle – Oedipus Rex is a play that was written 2,500 years ago and is thought to be the most performed Greek play in history of Greek theatre. Sophocles wrote 120 plays; only seven of which remain today. This play is part of what is called the “Theban plays” trilogy with the other two being Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone. Discuss the plot behind the action of the play, depicting the location of the cities on the board. Pose the riddle that Oedipus solved to the students. Closure – Tomorrow in class we are going to begin reading the play. Do you think Oedipus is going to be able to alter his fate? How do myths and/or drama seem to affect or shape the beliefs of the Ancient Greeks? State and National Standards Addressed – N.Y.S. Standards #1, #4. N.C.T.E. Standards #1, #9, #11. Credits – Some notes courtesy of Bill Dawson from Westhampton Beach High School. Personal Reflection -

Christina Harrigan Grade 12 Unit Plan – Drama/Mythology Unit Day 2 – Oedipus Rex Lesson/Daily Objective –Students will discuss and understand the concept of dramatic irony, and be able to identify its occurrence in this play. Tools/Technology – World Literature texts, website with relevant pictures. Essential Question/Content and concepts covered – What is dramatic irony? How did the Ancient Greeks envision the relationship between the gods and humankind? Beginning / “Do Now” – Open textbooks to page 303 to give students a view of the Ancient Greek theatre. Show pictures on my website. Discuss the logistics of performing in a theatre like this (how would they make sure people sitting far away understood what was occurring through the use of masks, dancing, and how the sound moved up the edges of the theatre, like Jones Beach). Middle –Students will be introduced to the term dramatic irony. PUT ON BOARD: Dramatic irony – when the audience of a performance knows something the characters do not. Many of the lines spoken during the play mean more to us (the audience) than to the characters themselves. Have you seen or experienced dramatic irony before? What are some examples? Horror movies, Romeo and Juliet (she is not dad, he drinks kills himself), etc. What is the effect of dramatic irony? It creates sympathy, suspense, tension, pity, terror. Students will become familiar to the characters (list at the beginning of the play) and will confirm pronunciations. Discuss the role of the Chorus (group of people, sometimes elders, who represent the thoughts and/or emotions of the people. The Chorus comments on the action of the play). Roles will be assigned to student readers (Oedipus, Priest, Creon, Chorus). Students will read the Prologue. Cadmus – founder of Thebes. How does Oedipus address the people of Thebes? What does he seem to think of them? How does Oedipus try to determine the solution to the plague? What does Oedipus find out as the clue to his city’s suffering? D.I. – L 109. What is ironic? Where is Creon coming from? What was he doing? At the end of the Prologue, ask students to find a few examples of dramatic irony. End – Before reading the Parados, remind students to listen carefully to the tone. This section is representative of the people. Pay attention to what is said and how it is said. The Paragos is usually much more poetic and dramatic. On page 314, read aloud Antistrophe 2 and Strophe 3. Students will analyze and identify the tone of this section. What does this tell us about the people’s thoughts on the situation? Based on the Paragos, and everything we have covered today, answer these two questions: How seriously do the characters in the play take the advice from the oracle? What does this

suggest about their attitude towards the gods? Do you think this is representative of the opinions of Ancient Greeks?

State and National Standards Addressed – N.Y.S. Standards #2, #4. N.C.T.E. Standards #2, #3, #9. Credits – Information and notes courtesy of Bill Dawson from Westhampton Beach High School.

Personal Reflection -

Christina Harrigan Grade 12 Unit Plan – Drama/Mythology Unit Day 3 – Oedipus Rex Lesson/Daily Objective – Students will comprehend the term hubris and identify instances of it in the text. Tools/Technology – World Literature texts. Essential Question/Content and concepts covered –What is hubris? How does Oedipus display hubris towards Teiresias? Beginning / “Do Now” – Students will take out texts and paper to take notes. Assign reading roles (Oedipus, Choragus, Teiresias). Middle – Begin reading Scene 1 (page 316). Point out D.I. L 207 – Oedipus says he is a stranger to the story and the murder. How is this ironic? How does Oedipus plan on punishing the murderer? What is ironic about L 235-237? L 251 – ironic? What is another way Greeks attempted to predict the future or discover answers (consulting a soothsayer/clairvoyant). Blind man is believed to have the ability to “see” the truth. “Sandlot” movie (blind elderly man played by James Earl Jones)? Where else this year have you noticed a blind man? What was significant about him? Oedipus alludes to other techniques Greeks used to discover answers (birdflight). Oedipus accuses Teiresas of having something to do with the murder. Oedipus thinks Creon wants to overthrow him. Oedipus points out that Teiresias was no help with the problem of the Sphinx. Oedipus is accusing Teiresias of being a fraud. Oedipus is saying that he has more insight, more power than Teiresias. Ironic because even though he had insight and ability to solve the riddle, he is blind to the truth of his identity. PUT ON BOARD: Define the term hubris – a term from Ancient Greece meaning excessive pride or arrogance. Look for instances where Oedipus demonstrates hubris. Is Oedipus boasting? What does this tell us about his personality? Describe the character of Teiresias: how does he respond to Oedipus’ accusations? Is he unnerved by him? (“I have gone free. The truth sustains me.” Teiresias believes his power is greater or superior to the Kingship of Oedipus. He is not afraid of what Oedipus threatens). How does Choragus react to Oedipus’ anger? End – Students found instances of hubris and examined their role in Oedipus’ characterization. State and National Standards Addressed –

Credits – Notes and information courtesy of Bill Dawson from Westhampton Beach High School.

Personal Reflection -

Christina Harrigan Grade 12 Unit Plan – Drama/Mythology Unit Day 4 – Oedipus Rex Lesson/Daily Objective – Students will identify and describe the characterization of Oedipus, using textual evidence to substantiate their claims. Students will explore the development of Oedipus’ character up to this point in the play. Tools/Technology – World Literature texts. Essential Question/Content and concepts covered – How has the attitudes of some characters towards gods and prophets changed? What are these new attitudes? Beginning / “Do Now” – Assign reading roles (Creon, Chorus, Oedipus, Jocasta). PUT ON BOARD: Accusations (who made them, to whom, what are they). Students will have five minutes to answer this question in their notebooks. Review the answers out loud. Middle – Read to L 543, page 328. Notice the Chorus is noncommittal (do not want to give an opinion of Oedipus and his behavior). Why do you think they do not provide an opinion? PUT ON BOARD: Oedipus makes a good point about Teriesias. What is it (Twenty years ago, when the crime was first committed, Teiresias failed to accuse him. Creon says Teriesias was a prophet then, a renowned one, and yet why did he not know of this or say anything then)? Continue reading to page 330, L 601. PUT ON BOARD: Creon’s defense to the accusations. 1. He has rights of royalty without the responsibilities of a King. 2. Hates anarchy. 3. Oedipus has no evidencedoes not want him to judge him without it. He also tells Oedipus to test him by going to the priestess/oracle. Creon depends on the oracle to provide answers. How dependent does he seem to be on the gods? PUT ON BOARD: “Oedipus.” What does Oedipus want to do to Creon? He wants to kill him, exile is not enough of a punishment. He wants to use Creon as an example to the people. “So that all the world may see what treason means.” What are some adjectives to describe Oedipus (angry, punishing, corrupted)? How does his reaction/treatment of Creon display this about his character? Can we determine that the power of being a King has corrupted him, or changed him? How do you think Jocasta is going to react to hearing the accusations? Read to page 334 L 686. PUT ON BOARD: Jocasta’s attitude towards Teiresias. What is Jocasta’s reaction to hearing what Teiresias said of Oedipus? She is not worried and doesn’t believe Teriesias. What is her reasoning? She says that her husband Laius had had a prediction that their son would grow up to kill him. She tells Oedipus how they left the baby on a hillside to die. Thus, Laius was not killed by his own son, and the prophecy was unfulfilled. Read L 682-683. What does this tell us about her relationship and/or attitude towards the gods and prophets?

“Shadowy memory” – what do you think Oedipus is thinking about? How do you think he feels (refer to “chilled heart”)? What adjectives would describe his emotions now? What do you think jogged his memory (the crossroads or the prophecy)? Read to end of Scene 2. What does Oedipus think is going to be the answer that makes him feel better (he is sending for the witness). Closure – Students will complete an exit card that displays their comprehension of Jocasta and will make a prediction about the remainder of the play. Describe Jocasta’s emotions at the end of this scene. Why does she act this way? Make a prediction…What do you think is going to happen to Oedipus by the end of the play? Collect exit cards as students leave.

State and National Standards Addressed – Credits – Notes and information provided by Bill Dawson from Westhampton Beach High School.

Personal Reflection -

Christina Harrigan Grade 12 Unit Plan – Drama/Mythology Unit Day 5 – Oedipus Rex Lesson/Daily Objective – Students will identify the attitudes of the Chorus, their predictions, and if they come true. Students will explore the relationship between characteristics and Fate. Tools/Technology – Essential Question/Content and concepts covered – How does Oedipus’ attitude affect his life? What does this say about the relationship between the Greeks and their gods? Beginning / “Do Now” – Students will review any parts of the play that they are troubled with or confused about. Ask is anyone has questions they want to review. Assign reading roles for Scene 3 and 4 (Scene 3- Jocasta, Messenger, Chorus, Oedipus. Scene 4Oedipus, Chorus, Messenger, Shepherd). Middle – Read Ode 2 (page 339) aloud (me). On a separate sheet of paper (you will hand this in) answer theses questions: What does the Chorus say about those who do not have respect for the prophets and prophecies (find at least one line to support your answer). What do you notice about the language of the Ode? Students will pass the answers to the front of the room. Review the answers. PUT ON BOARD: Child of Pride – who is this? Oedipus. What do they say about having too much pride? “from his high crest headlong he plummets to the dust of hope.” What was the term we learned about pride (hubris)? Read Scene 3 to page 345 L 933. PUT ON BOARD: Messenger. What has the Messenger said? (Polybus is dead. Corinth wants Oedipus to be King). PUT ON BOARD: Reactions to news. How does Oedipus react upon hearing the news (is relieved, scoffs at the gods and the prophets/prophecies. Jocasta is relieved, still believes Fate rules their lives). Read to bottom of page 349. Oedipus tells the Messenger the prophecy and “proves” he has changed his fate. Messenger then lets Oedipus know that Polybus was not his real father and that he found him as a baby in the hills of Cithaeron with pins through his calves. Remember what Oedipus means? “Swollen foot.” Also means “to know.” Why is this name ironic? Who is this Messenger and what is his role? Describe Jocasta’s reaction to hearing the news from the Messenger. What do you think she is feeling? How does she know the truth? Describe how Oedipus reacts? How does he explain Jocasta’s sudden exit? Cut Ode 3 completely. Review reading roles (Oedipus, Chorus, Messenger, Shepherd). Read Scene 4 to end. PUT ON BOARD: Shepherd- confirms Messenger’s story. Is angry that the Messenger told Oedipus his true identity.

PUT ON BOARD: Oedipus – reacts very angrily to the Shepherd. Shepherd does not want to tell Oedipus, and Oedipus threatens to kill him. How do you feel about his reaction? Anger is getting the better of him. Closure – PUT ON BOARD: This story began as Oedipus’ quest for….Laius’ murderer. It has now become…Oedipus’ quest for his own identity. How did the Chorus’ predictions about the “child of Pride” come true at the end of this scene? What did they say would happen (he would plummet to the dust of hope)?

State and National Standards Addressed – Credits – Notes and information provided by Bill Dawson from Westhampton Beach High School.

Personal Reflection -

Christina Harrigan Grade 12 Unit Plan – Drama/Mythology Unit Day 6 – Oedipus Rex Lesson/Daily Objective – What motivates Oedipus to take the drastic action that he does? How does the Chorus react to the fall of their King? Tools/Technology – World Literature texts. Essential Question/Content and concepts covered – What kind of relationship did the Ancient Greeks have with their gods? Why is Oedipus’ self-inflicted punishment so symbolic? Beginning / “Do Now” – Students will take out notebooks and their textbooks. I will read aloud Ode 4 on page 355. Then have students read the passage a second time silently. After they read, they will answer the following questions on a separate sheet of paper that they will hand in. “Describe how the Chorus reacts to hearing the truth. What do they say about the situation (Offer a quote in support of your answer).” Students will hand their work in and it will count towards their participation grade for the week. PUT ON BOARD: Discuss the meaning of the line, “All eyes fail before Time’s eye.” Middle – Assign reading roles for the Exodus (Me = Second Messenger, Choragos, Oedipus, Creon). Read to L 1314 page 361. PUT ON BOARD: Reactions of…Jocasta…Oedipus. Jocasta hangs herself. Oedipus gouges his eyes out with brooches. Why does he take such drastic action? Why does he do this? A) He does not want to see the reactions of the people around him (townspeople and children). B) It is a symbol of how blind he was throughout his life. He was blind to and unable to recognize the truth of his life. It will act as a symbolic reminder of his blindness to the truth. Can we compare him to any of the other characters in the play? Teriesieas? (He is blind now, but he contains much wisdom and knowledge). What do they mean when they refer to “the unhappiness of two?” Who are they talking about? What unhappiness are they referring to? What will happen to Oedipus? He is going to be exiled. Who is going to become the ruler? Creon. Can we make any predictions about how Creon is going to treat Oedipus? Read to end. PUT ON BOARD: Creon’s reaction: Demonstrates pity towards Oedipus, seemingly agrees to take care of his children, allows him to see his daughters when he asks, and will eventually exile him (doesn’t sentence him to death, even though Oedipus called him a traitor and threatened him). Closure- Any final thoughts/reactions to the play? Do you think Oedipus deserved what he got? Why or why not?

State and National Standards Addressed – Credits – Notes and information provided by Bill Dawson from Westhampton Beach High School.

Personal Reflection –

Christina Harrigan Grade 12 Unit Plan – Drama/Mythology Unit Day 7 – Oedipus Rex Lesson/Daily Objective – Students will comprehend Aristotle’s Theory of Tragedy and apply this knowledge to Oedipus Rex. Tools/Technology – World Literature texts, handout on “Aristotle’s Theory of Tragedy.” Essential Question/Content and concepts covered – Beginning / “Do Now” – Ask if there are any questions students initially wants answered about the play. Middle – PUT ON BOARD: How did myths/drama shape the identity, beliefs, and values of the Ancient Greeks? How did this play answer, “Who am I,” “What can I know,” and “How should I act?” How would the Greeks have answered these questions based on the story of Oedipus? 1) Respect for the gods, prophets, prophecies – humans should know their place (Oedipus and Jocasta scoffed at the gods, their prophets, and prophecies- blasphemy). 2) Fate – gods control all; nothing occurs without their approval. ORDER is provided. Universe may be cruel at times (people may or may not deserve their fate, but it is never chaotic). The Greeks did however, believe in Free Will. 3) Free will- under a divine set of limitations. (Any examples of free will in this play? Oedipus exerted his will to try and evade the prophecy…free to kill Laius…free to pursue the killer…blinded himself…Jocasta got rid of her baby…Jocasta hung herself…Shepherd let baby live). PUT ON BOARD: Other Greek beliefs/morals that come from the play? (page 367Choragos speaks). 4) Avoid hubris – excessive pride…blinds one to the truth and leads to downfall…even the greatest of heroes can fall…don’t presume your life will be without pain…until your last day…Why? “Judgments too quickly formed are dangerous” 5) “All eyes fail before Time’s eye” – we are limited in our understanding about what may be in store for us. We may be heroic, but we do not have control over the universe and what happens. Teiresias, though blind, saw this. Oedipus, though he had eyes, could not. So, why has this play lasted 2500 years? Why do we still enjoy reading it? IT IS RELEVANT! It deals with a universal and human search for understanding/enlightenment. It had great wisdom for the Ancient Greeks and it still provokes thought about what it means to be human, what our place in the universe is. PUT ON BOARD: Oedipus- symbol of all the is great/strong, yet flawed simultaneously. What was his great flaw? PUT ON BOARD: Tragic hero? Give handout.

Students read aloud 1-6 and then tackle each question individually. Does this play fulfill this theory, by applying 1-6 to it? Then look at question #7. PUT ON BOARD: Catharsis – story arouses sensations of pity, fear, and terror; we empathize with the characters. However, the audience leaves feeling “cleansed” of those emotions. Finally, the audience has a heightened understanding of the ways of god and men (self-awareness). Have you ever seen any movies or read any books where you have experienced catharsis? End – Discuss the format of the test, which will be tomorrow. With remaining time, address any questions.

State and National Standards Addressed – Credits – Notes, information, and handout provided by Bill Dawson from Westhampton Beach High School.

Personal Reflection -


				
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