questions:

Answer two of the next three questions:

  • 1) King Oedipus
  • a) Fate versus individual free will- the great question. How do we reconcile- if we do- this conundrum in King Oedipus?
  • b) Hybris (hubris) definition is excessive personal pride. At Delphi, when Oedipus is about to learn the devastating truth of his origin and his destiny, the Chorus utters these words, “the Tyrant is a child of Pride”. Though we know that Oedipus was “destined” to his fate, is hubris a substantial component in Oedipus downfall? Could he have avoided it? Is, in other words his character to blame as well?
  • 2) Antigone

Professor Lukas van den Berge writes:

“In his frantic efforts to restore Thebes to its greatness, Creon is one-sidedly intent on the idea of law as man-made order that resists nature’s ‘war of all against all’. In constant fear of a clash of private interests that could instigate such a war, Creon champions the unequivocal prevalence of the polis (city) over the oikos (home, family), suppressing all emotions that may prompt him to be loyal to his house rather than to his city.”

[…]

In her transgressive neglect of the divine nature of Creon’s public command as an integral part of a God-given order, Antigone one-sidedly emphasizes the importance of the ‘unwritten and unchanging ordinances of the Gods’. Whereas human laws were generally regarded as reflections of divine law, Antigone dismisses Creon’s edict as a ‘product of the human mind’, a mere mortal thought that could ever stand apart from the divine. Now that Zeus was ‘not the one who has personally pronounced it’, the Gods would have nothing to do with Creon’s edict[1 (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.

About these two statements:

a) What do you make of Creon preoccupation with the city before family and his conviction that his edict cannot be changed or modified to accommodate the wishes of a member of his family?

b) And what is your take about Antigone’s conviction that her morals are more important  than the laws of the city?

3) Hyppolitus

“The shame of her cruel fate has conquered. She has chosen good name rather than life: she is easing her heart of its bitter load of love.” The Chorus, Lines 773-5

Phaedra decides to die.

Analyze:

a) Her decision to leave- what causes it? Which feelings are behind this gesture? Did she have another choice?

b) Her decision to accuse Hyppolitus to rape her- Why does she do it? Could she have avoided it? How?

Part 2

THE GODS

Answer one of these 3 questions:

1) Demeter and Persephone: as you revisit the myth of the kidnapping of Persephone by Ades, explain the most important metaphors and symbols behind the myth: marriage, loss, death.

2) Hermes: God of the crossroads, messenger of the Gods, Guide to the underworld… how do we understand this God? Can we imagine an equivalent in our world?

3) Aphrodite: The poet Sappho (620-580 BC), a most marvelous interpreter of human affairs, wrote these verses:

It’s no use

Mother dear, I

can’t finish my

weaving

You may

blame Aphrodite

soft as she is

she has almost

killed me with

love for that boy

Who is Aphrodite? Then and now. Elaborate.

__________________________________

It will be a 2000 words paper.

Please, avoid in both questions to give a plot summary. We all know the two tragedies.

Format: MLA, double spaced, indent, times new roman, 12 pt.-

Don’t forget the Work Cited page. Stay away from Wikipedia. Try jstor.org, instead: there you will find scholarly journals and papers that are there for you to consult