There is no happiness when there is no wisdom


Sophocles’ Antigone

441 BCE


Some Essay Prompts:

  1. Choose a complex and important character in Antigone who might – on the basis of the character’s actions alone – be considered evil or immoral. In a well-organized essay, explain both how and why the full presentation of the character in the work makes us react more sympathetically than we otherwise might.
  2. A recurring motif in literature is “the classic war between a passion and responsibility.” For instance, a personal wrong, a love, a desire for revenge, a determination to address a wrong, or some other emotion or drive may conflict with moral duty. From Antigone choose a character who confronts the demands of private passion that conflicts with his or her responsibilities. In a well-written essay show clearly the nature of the conflict, its effects upon the character, and its significance to the work.
  3. Antigone depicts a conflict between a parent (or a parental figure) and a son or daughter. Write an essay in which you analyze the sources of conflict and explain how the conflict contributes to the meaning of the work.
  4. According to critic Northrop Frye, “Tragic heroes are so much the highest points in their human landscape that they seem the inevitable conductors of the power about them, great trees more likely to be struck by lightning than a clump of grass.  Conductors may of course be instruments as well as victims of the divine lightning.”  From Antigone select a tragic figure that functions as an instrument of the suffering of others.  Then write an essay in which you explain how the suffering brought upon others by that figure contributes to the tragic vision of the work as a whole.

Writing the Essay


2-3 pages in MLA format



Literary Analysis using Modernism or Psych Theory


Nov. 9



Writing About Literature packet



Forums, Moodle Interlude, Conference with Chisnell