Why does Antigone bury her brother Polynices
twice? If her only motive in burying her brother was to aid him in
the next world, so that he could rest in peace instead of being a hungry
ghost, the first burial would have sufficed. This accelerates the
plot by quickly forcing Antigone to answer for her crime, but this does
not explain her motive. Why does she risk her life to unnecessarily
bury her brother a 2nd time?
What do you think of Creon's point:
755 the great mass of them
owe their lives [&
the quality of their lives] to discipline
the law even they are inclined not to]. Therefore
we must defend the men
who live by law.
Is Creon entirely to blame for Haemon's death
& then Eurydice's death? Is Antigone complicit? How much
in love with Haemon can she be when she prefers to die "on stage" as a
public figure rather than seek some consolation & support in a life
with him? Like so much of Greek theater, do we see a teenage rebellion
against dad rather than adult problems, e.g., between spouses?
Hopefully you read Medea before reading the
explication. Did you initially feel sorry for Medea or even feel
that her acts were justifiable? If so, why? I am supposing
that you do not still wish to defend her. Perhaps you do. Do
we find it irresistable to read contemporary American notions of gender
equality & equal employment opportunity &, perhaps, forgiveness
for early childhood trauma -- do we project our concerns unto Medea, changing
her from an illustration of vice into nearly a virtuous marter?
How about Jason? How much blame does
he have? Early in the play the chorus says:
244 to punish Jason
will be just.
By the end of the play, stereotypical
gender roles have been reversed. Jason is the solicitous mom.
Medea is the unfeeling & power-hunger abuser. Do you accept Jason's
rationalizations? If not, what punishment might have been appropriate?
How realistic are such notions? Cf. Donald Trump, Bill Clinton, or
anyone else who seems to illustrate that power, influence, & money
are better choices (or at least they pay explicit results) than morality.
Answers: E-mail your answers. Make sure
the subject line says: unit11.
_____ -- show me a greater crim in all
She, she destroys cities, rips up houses.
Fill in the blank. What is this
In the first question above, the worst crime
is definitely female ("she" is repeated). Why? The gender association
is not gratutious. It is in harmony with one of themes of the play.
Hint. Males error on side of violence, discipline, & over commitment
to public social organizations (military, politics, professions).
What is the opposite typical female error (obviously illustrated by Antigone)?
One of the themes in Medea is "the battle of the sexes." Medea says:
I'd rather stand 3 times in the front line [of
the army in a battle] rather than . . .
Jason asks about Medea's motive for murderng their children:
You though that reason enough to urder
To what does he refer?
What was Jason doing when he first met
All men make mistakes, it is only human
But once the wrong is done . . .
you can minimize the tragedy or suffering, if you recognize what?
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