antigone by sandeshbhat


									ANTIGONE ANTIGONE DISCUSSION FLOW 1. Laying out the Conflict (25’) 1.1. What position is Antigone taking in relation to Creon? • What, exactly, has she done? Why does she do these things? • What lies behind Antigone’s position? What principles is she drawing on and arguing for? • Is sacrificing oneself to bury a family member within the boundaries of ordinary filial piety? Why does Antigone believe that this extreme demonstration of filial devotion is required? • What is this duty based on? Is this duty owed to anyone? Is this a duty just because Polynices is Antigone’s brother? 1.2. Why does Creon object? • Why did Creon make his edict? • What is the rationale for Creon’s position? What principle is he defending? • How does Creon define duty? According to Creon, what is the duty of citizens? What does Creon believe is owed to Polynices? • Is that it? Are there other motives at work? 2. Are These Positions Inherently in Conflict? (10’) 2.1. Are the principles that Antigone and Creon defend truly irreconcilable? Are duty to state, family, and the gods inherently in conflict? 2.2. Why are they in conflict here? 3. Characterizing the Protagonists (20’) 3.1. What is it about Antigone and Creon – as individuals – that created this conflict? 3.2. In what ways are they similar? • Is there the same weight of conviction on both sides? • Who is the real rebel here? • Why couldn’t either of them give in? 3.3. In what ways are they different? 3.4. If Shackleton demonstrated great sensitivity to his context and shaped his actions to it, how do you grade Antigone and Creon? What was Antigone not seeing? What was Creon not seeing? 4. Judging the Positions and the Protagonists (25’) 4.1. Now let’s evaluate what we’ve laid out. How do you evaluate each of these positions and principles? Which strikes you as more viable? 4.2. Challenging Antigone’s supporters: • What would happen if everyone took the law into their own hands? • Why does Antigone refuse to let Iseme help her? • Isn’t this moral self-righteousness?


4.3. Supporting Creon’s position: • What are the obligations of the leader of a city that has just come out of a horrible civil war? • What is wrong with making an example of a traitor? • Why don’t we applaud Creon for not letting family relations matter? He is applying the law objectively – isn’t that justice? 5. Exploring Moral Alternatives (25’) 5.1. Creon’s and Antigone’s positions proved to be irreconcilable in the play, but do they have to be? Besides simply yielding, is there any other option that takes into account both points of view? 5.2. We have seen that moral action is not just driven by principle; it is enabled by personality – by the self. Based on what you’ve seen here, what personal attributes would allow someone to be the kind of person who would be good at handling a challenge of two “rights”?



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