1/6 -Revisiting Antigone

Academic Planning Day Presentation available here.

Please read Martin Luther King’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” for Tuesday. This is a very difficult essay to read, so as a result, I suggest you use this lab book prompt to help you read it:

King’s letter is organized by questions that the other clergy posed. Outline the letter by identifying each of the major “questions” he’s answering and offer a short summary of his answer to each.

In our last episode…we read Antigone as a tragedy. In that reading, Creon is the main character and Antigone is a plot device.

Today, I want us to imagine that instead of being a tragedy, Antigone is a dystopia. We’ll talk about what makes a dystopia together.

If we read Antigone this way, we look for any 4 or more these elements:

  •  What propaganda is used to control citizens?
  • How are information, independent thought, and freedom restricted?
  • What figurehead or concept is worshiped or honored above all others?
  • What/who is under constant surveillance? How?
  • How do citizens in Thebes fear the outside world?
  • How are citizens in Thebes dehumanized?
  • How are citizens kept from/taught to distrust the natural world?
  • What uniform expectations do citizens conform to?

And, we answer the BIGGER questions:

  •  Which types of control are used by those in power (bureaucratic, technological, phil0sophical/religious, and/or corporate)?
  • Which character is the protagonist? Remember, the dystopian protagonist
    • often feels trapped, struggling to escape
    • questions the existing social and political systems
    • believes or feels that something is wrong with the society in which s/he lives
    • helps the audience recognize the negative aspects of the society

And we look for the primary meaning-maker of dystopia:

WHAT SOCIAL TREND IS THE AUTHOR CRITIQUING? Because dystopia is always about social critique.



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