Heads-up: Antigone questions


Some questions/comments from Mr. Jerry Pendrick, Classics Scholar, who will visit our classes after Thanksgiving.  Consider these questions about Antigone.  If these give rise to others, great! Bring your ideas and questions back to school.  Mr. Kendrick is excited to discuss Sophocles’ play with you.  BTW, he has read it in the original Greek.

“Most modern readers sympathize strongly with Antigone. In democratic Athens, how would the audience feel about Antigone — who is essentially a princess and daughter of the (former) king, a sort of Ivanka Trump figure, a member of the “1%” of Athenian society — asserting her right to disobey laws she happens to disagree with?

What exactly are Antigone’s motives for disobeying Creon’s edict? Are they religious, as her famous speech at lines 450–457 suggest? Or are they purely personal, as her speech at 920ff suggests? Is she a consistent character who operates from consistent principles/motives?

The plot of the play proves that Creon was ultimately in the wrong. Does it also prove that Antigone was ultimately in the right? Why or why not? A related question is: what actually does it mean to be an Athenian tragedy?

This should provide enough fodder for discussion.”


clarification: membean scoring

In response to several  inquiries on the subject, I have clarified one aspect of the scoring that in the past was implied, but now is made more explicit.  Red font shows the clarification.

Typically, a membean week runs Monday thru Sunday.

As recommended the membean staff, do a series of brief learning sessions over the course of the week.  Let the learning sink in over time, rather than trying to cram at the last minute.  The point of using membean is to build a more robust vocabulary, in order to become a more forceful and flexible writer.  Once you find a weekly rhythm, stay with it.  Exercise discipline.

The corresponding weekly grading scheme looks like this:

  • 90% for at least 45 minutes with at least 3 learning sessions on different days, and each session lasting at least 10 minutes (15 minutes works better)
  • 100% for 60 minutes or more, with the same expectations as above
  • 0% for totals below 45 minutes, regardless of number of sessions or days; 0% for fewer than 3 learning sessions on different days (of ten minutes or more)
  • students with significant “dubious minutes” receive 0% for the week (I define when the number of dubious minutes becomes significant)
    • conference required of those receiving 0% for dubious minutes
    • zeroes continue for each week, until conference has occurred
  • grade entered as “class preparation”

Poetry Day: Cavafy, PDFs, and Antigone

learning goal: how can I make my PDF clearer than it already is?  What sentence issues have been recurring in my writing so far?

Cavafy; idyll, metaphor, repetition

time to revise, complete and submit PDF#2 to TURNITIN (if you have submitted already, and want to revise based on classmates’ feedback, I can delete the file you have submitted; be sure to acknowledge, in the footer, anyone who has helped you)

PDF instructions

by the time we return from holiday, please have finished reading to the end of Antigone (line 1518)


By Unknown – http://arjelle.altervista.org/Tesine/Sara/teocrito.htm, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21727090

“Idyll VII” by Theocritus


due W/Th Nov 15/16: new PDF

PDF due next Poetry Day (W/Th Nov 15/16; major grade):

Be sure to submit this assignment to TURNITIN–on the prescribed template.

on either of the two poems left after your first PDF

In other words, you have written three original poems for class.  For one of them, you have already written a PDF reflection.  NOW, write a new PDF on one of the remaining two you have composed.

Recommendation: review my feedback on your first PDF, so that you can incorporate some of those lessons into this new reflection.

If you submit this PDF before class, you will have time to revise it based on classmates’ feedback during the first part of that class–in which case, I will delete your initial submission, making room for the revised writing. If you have not submitted the PDF by the start of class, you will have class time to complete the project. (n.b. the deadline is 11:59pm on your section’s Poetry Day). Unlike the first PDF, this second counts as a major grade.

agenda Th/F Nov 9/10: Antigone intensifies

learning goal: using Sophocles’ play as a test, how does the basic dialogue form intensify conflict, especially in lines 364-804?

OCC demo and assignment (maybe next week?)

intro to notes on balance and energy (TBA)

PDF due next Poetry Day (W/Th Nov 15/16): on either of the two poems left after your first PDF

reading aloud together: today’s (ambitious) goal is line 804

praise of man, man’s laws (obedience) vs. gods’ laws (justice), emotion in tyrants (Kreon), sister joins sister late, me/my/mine (ll.578, 591-2), ping-pong dialogue,