What are some human rights questions for a class studying Antigone?
I am doing my student teaching and am to teach Antigone to a 10th grade English class in an interdiscipinary humanities program. I need some ideas for journal questions and entries that deal with the themes of Antigone in relation to human rights, civil disobedience, etc.
Any suggestions are greatly appreciated.
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One question that has not yet been considered is this: Is Creon really the antagonist, or villain, in the play? Is there really a hero in this play? Does Creon simply take advantage of the opportunity to sieze power for himself, or is he trying to bring restoration to his city by denying Oedipus's children their birthright to the throne? His motivation for not pardoning Antigone is his fear of anarchy, but what is his motive for not allowing a funeral for Polyneices? Since Eteocles denied his heritage and sided with Creon, it could be that Polyneices symbolizes the rotten state of his family: as his body rots, so will the memory of his father and family.
Personal response questions might be:
(1) Is it important to obey every law? Why/why not? Give
examples to support your answer.
(2) What would you do if you were in Antigone's place?
Creon's place? Ismene's place?
(3) What basic human rights should every person be entitled
(4) Are there any circumstances that would cause you to
get involved in an act of civil disobedience? Explain what
issues are important to you that might inspire you to get
(5) Explain the quote by Lord Acton: "Absolute power
corrupts absolutely." Do you agree?
You could also give students examples of moral dilemmas and ask them to explain what they would do in that particular case. An example would be: You lose your job and are having a difficult time finding another one. You're in danger of losing your home. You find an envelope with $10,000.00 in it that someone obviously dropped. What do you do?
Enotes has an "Antigone Response Journal" in their lesson plans that will also give you ideas. Go to the link below and scroll down.
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