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April 3rd Discussion Today's Plan 1) Get a grasp of the play a) characters b) plot c) critical engagement 2) Essay #7 a) Primary vs. Secondary b) Thesis, thesis, thesis... 3) Summarizing Plots / Representations are Interpretations a) Selection is Interpretation b) What to quote c) The value of paraphrasing
Characters Antigone (an-tig-oh-nee): daughter of Oedipus and Jocasta, wants to perform burial rights on her brother P. Openly defies Creon. Gets prosecuted for doing it, is sentenced to die, and is imprisoned in a cave. Ultimately hangs herself. Choragos (cor-ay-goss): leader of the chorus Chorus: the formal representatives of the people of Thebes Creon (cree-on): Antigone's uncle; Jocasta's brother. Represents the state and is in counter- point to A. Makes the law that prohibits the burial of P. Prosecutes I and A. Changes his mind about I. After getting a message from T (and having it re-iterated by the Chorus) and feeling kind of bad about his son, he changes his mind about A and does himself to bury P. He then goes to the cave to see A (and arguably H) but A has already killed herself. Then H kills himself. C goes back to the castle only to kind that his wife E has killed herself. The last we see of Creon he is contemplating killing himself. Eteocles (ee-tee-oh-cleez): Antigone's brother; soldier protecting the city; killed in battle by Polyneices Eurydice (yoo-rid-ih-cee): Creon's wife. Kills herself when she finds out that H died.
Haemon (Hi-mon): Creon's son, engaged to Antigone. He’s very upset that C is going to execute A. Pleads for her life. Gets very mad at his dad and fights with him in the cave. Ultimately stabs himself. Ismene (is-may-nee): Antigone's sister. Initially sides with the state but then changes her mind and agrees to help A. Gets in big trouble. But is ultimately freed by Creon Messenger/Sentinel: brings news of events that occur off stage Polyneices (pol-ee-ni-ceez): Antigone's brother; soldier invading the city; killed in battle by Eteocles Senator: a representative of the Theban ruling class Tiresias (tie-ree-see-us): the blind prophet of Thebes. His big moment comes when he tells Creon that the gods are mad at him for not giving P a proper burial. The reason here seems a bit weird.
Plot The play begins at the end of a civil war. Antigone's brothers fought against each other. Cleon, the caretaker, sides with one and not the other dead brother and refuses the allow P to be buried. Antigone convinces I to break the law and help her bury P. Creon finds out about this and freaks out. Antigone is sentenced to starve to death in a cave. Lots of death at the end.
Critical Engagement Possibilities... What are the elements of persuasion involved in the counterarguments throughout the play? What are criteria for assessing a counterargument? Hmmm….I know - let’s look a counterarguments!
Counterarguments (look in the writer’s handbook) -A counterargument is a response or objection to an argument - 6 Strategies -1) Critique the assumption behind a writer’s premises by exposing unfair assumptions or unstated premises as false -2) Assess the truthfulness of the premises themselves -3) Examine the strength or the relevance of the evidence used to support the argument. -4) Interrogate the logic of the argument itself and expose any fallacies. -5) Stun your readers by proposing a superior alternative argument of your own using the same set of evidence -6) Supply additional evidence that supports an alternative conclusions that the original argument did not account for. -i) Look for contraditions -ii) Check the inference
Professor Hart's Thesis... Hart's Introduction to Her Thesis: "Hegel suggests a reading of "Antigone" that strictly separates the personal/familial and the political in order to oppose them to one another. Antigone (as woman) is a representative of the family; Creon is a representative of the state, and as spokespersons for different value systems they collide. Who is right? According to Hegel, they are both right because each espouses a valid ethical system. Yet each is tragic because each represents only part of the totality of moral life." Hart's Explicit Thesis: "The strict division of the personal as Family and the political as State that supports Hegel's thinking on the play, while useful, is not necessarily borne out by closer examination of the text. Creon is not purely associated with the State and Antigone is not purely associated with the family."
My Critical Engagement of Professor Hart's Thesis... Hart's Implicit Thesis: Today we were told by our professor that Antigone seems to teach us to shy away from one-sided moral judgments, that we need to "tolerate ambivalence." Moreover, we were told that "we need to learn to live with doubleness." How could have Antigone merely tolerated the two opposing edicts, one from the gods, and another from the polis? Would Antigone be able to live up to the theme of this quarter if she had merely tolerated the ambivalence of the two opposing edicts? No. We read Antigone insofar as she does not tolerate ambivalence. Antigone is of interest because she faces two opposing laws, and she acts – she "does."
Thesis, Anti-Thesis, Syn-Thesis... * The thesis is an intellectual proposition. * The antithesis is simply the negation of the thesis, a reaction to the proposition. * The synthesis solves the conflict between the thesis and antithesis by reconciling their common truths, and forming a new proposition.
Thesis, Anti-Thesis, Syn-Thesis... Hart's Thesis: C & A aren't strictly opposites, live with opposites anyway. Cara's Anti-Thesis: Can't live with opposites. New Syn-Thesis: ___________________________________?
Essay #7 Pay very close attention to the prompt. Read it every day that you work on your essay–that is–more than once. Let's read it together.
Counterargument is a distinct form of action that responds to the differing rhetorical positions of others in order to achieve certain ends. There are many counterarguments presented in the play. For example, counterarguments are staged between Ismene and Antigone, the Leader of the Chorus and Creon, Antigone and Creon, Ismene and Antigone again, Ismene and Creon, Haemon and Creon (where the Leader of the Chorus takes turns taking sides), Antigone and the Chorus, Antigone and Creon again, Tiresias and Creon, and -- less explicitly -- Creon and the Chorus as they utter the final words of the play. This assignment asks you to look at a specific exchange that will be chosen by your section leader between two characters or between a character and the chorus in Antigone in which the characters fundamentally disagree. As the two sides present their claims in the dramatic interplay, each tries to respond appropriately and persuade the other party. This assignment requires you to use the primary source of Sophocles' text, but you may also choose to integrate the scholarly secondary source from JSTOR that you read in the Discovery Task to improve your explanation about how the language and logic of counterargument functions in the play.
Steps in the Process: * Interpret the scene as a counterargument between opposing parties. What is the main claim at issue? How does this claim relate to the lectures of Professor Hart? * Analyze the rhetorical and argumentative techniques that the characters deploy. How do the characters use specific strategies (page 161) to attempt to convince the other person or persons involved in the debate about the burial of Polynices, the authority of Creon, or the competing claims of state and the family in which the characters are invested. You may want to keep in mind that this play was originally written in Ancient Greek and that we are reading a translation. Remember also that particular words may have specific connotations and often more than one meaning or application. Sometimes different characters will use the same word (for example, "law," "justice," or "blood") to refer to very different concepts. * Evaluate the willingness of the character to respond to the arguments of his or her opponent. How does this character acknowledge counterarguments? See pages 161-162 for advice about analyzing responsiveness. * Consider scholarly arguments, such as those in the article your read for the Discovery Task, as you refine your thesis. If you refer to claims that a scholar makes about the play, even indirectly without using specific quotations from his essay, make sure to cite him as the source for those scholarly critical ideas.
A Successful Essay Will Do the Following... * Demonstrate that you have read Antigone in-depth and more than once. * Present an interpretive thesis about counterargument in the passage that you are analyzing. * Use evidence from Sophocles’ text in the form of quotations to support your interpretation. * Cite all sources properly in the format specified by your section leader. * Acknowledge limitations in the evidence. * Subordinate and juxtapose sentence elements properly.
Primary vs. Secondary Sources Peer Review... Encyclopedia sources... "Works Cited" ≠ "Bibliography" A good paper about a bad resource is a bad paper, so choose your resources wisely (i.e., avoid "straw" opponents).
Thesis, thesis, thesis... Master what I am about to say, and you'll go far in the Humanities (write it down): "DO SOMETHING SMALL IN A BIG WAY, NOT SOMETHING BIG AND A SMALL WAY." For these smaller essays, imagine that you are explaining the significance of one line of the reading. For the larger essay, imagine that you are explaining the significance of one paragraph. No, really.
Summarizing... 1) Summarizations are representations 2) Representations ≠Things Represented 3) Representations < Things Represented 4) Subtracting from Things Represented is an act of interpretation. 5) Interpretations are subject to evaluation. 6) There are good summaries and bad summaries. 7) Let both the prompt and your particular thesis guide your knife. An example might help here...
Compare Sophocles to Cliff Notes Antigone, Below Sophocles's Antigone: 1275-1320 Begins with: Messenger: "Neighbors, friends of the house of Cadmus and the kings, there's not a thing in this mortal life of ours I'd praise or blame as settled once for all.... " Ends with: ".... Creon shows the world that of all the ills afflicting men the worst is lack of judgment." Cliff Notes' Antigone: A messenger announces that Antigone has hanged herself and that Haemon, agonized at her death, has also killed himself. On hearing the news, Eurydice, the queen, retreats into the palace where she, too, kills herself after cursing her husband, Creon. Mourning his wife and son, Creon blames himself for all the tragedy that has occurred and prays that his life will end soon. What does this lack that Sophocles thought important enough to include?
Quoting vs. Paraphrasing... Quoting is necessary when: 1) attributing something controversial to the person quoted, 2) you are pointing out something that is easily overlooked, or 3) your entire thesis depends on the particular wording. Bad quoting occurs, in my mind, when it seems like: 1) you have nothing to say and so are throwing in quotes, 2) you are using long quotes to fluff up your essay, or 3) you are afraid to commit to a paraphrase, when a paraphrase would convey the same information.
Paraphrasing vs. Quoting... Paraphrasing is, in general, better than quoting. Here is a good, general guide for when to paraphrase instead of quoting: if you can convey the same information in your own words without loss of meaning, then a paraphrase is usually better. When grading your papers, I want to see if you can show me that you understand what it is that you are representing, and if you can properly paraphrase passages, then it shows me that you understand the material better than someone who can only find the correct passage and quote it.
Quoting, Paraphrasing, and Plagiarism... When quoting someone, you need proper citations. When paraphrasing someone, you need proper citation. Do not plagiarize. Plagiarism occurs whenever you use someone else's words or ideas without telling me that they are someone else's words or ideas.
Discovery Task #5 Due Tuesday, April 7th When completing your worksheet for this task, concentrate on this article: "From Formalism to Inquiry: A Model of Argument in Antigone" by James L. Kastely. Write this down.
GROUP ONE: Pages 59-64 –Antigone / Ismene: the decision to bury Polynices GROUP TWO: Pages 67-68 and pages 73-74 –Creon's edict regarding Polynices GROUP THREE: Pages 82-86 –Antigone / Creon: law of gods v. law of the state GROUP FOUR: Creon / Haemon: 93-99 –Deference, flexibility, saving face GROUP FIVE: Antigone / Chorus / Creon: 102-109 –Upholding the filial bond GROUP SIX: Tiresias / Creon: 110-115 –Taking advice and coucil What are you doing? Paraphrase, what is the overt argument, what are the two* opposing sides, what is the implicit argument, can you contemporarize the crux of the argument?