-The assignments in each module are due before your class meeting with the Stanford undergrads! You have up until your Zoom session begins to submit those assignments for full credit.
-Late submissions are accepted through midnight on the Friday following your undergrad meeting, for half-credit.
THIS WEEK’S READING:
-A close-reading of Antigone
Watch: Introduction to a Close-Reading of the “Ode to Man”
Read: The “Ode to Man”
FIRST STASIMON CHORUS: [Strophe a] Many wonders, many terrors, But none more wonderful than the human race Or more dangerous. This creature travels on a winter gale (335) Across the silver sea, Shadowed by high-surging waves, While on Earth, grandest of the gods, He grinds the deathless, tireless land away, Turning and turning the plow (340) From year to year, behind driven horses. [Antistrophe a] Light-headed birds he catches And takes them away in legions. Wild beasts Also fall prey to him. And all that is born to live beneath the sea (345) Is thrashing in his woven nets. For he is Man, and he is cunning. He has invented ways to take control Of beasts that range mountain meadows: Taken down the shaggy-necked horses, (350) The tireless mountain bulls, And put them under the yoke. [Strophe b] Language and a mind swift as the wind For making plans – (355) These he has taught himself– And the character to live in cities under law. He’s learned to take cover from a frost And escape sharp arrows of sleet. He has the means to handle every need, (360) Never steps toward the future without the means. Except for Death: He’s got himself no relief from that, Though he puts every mind to seeking cures For plagues that are hopeless. [Antistrophe b] He has cunning contrivance, (365) Skill surpassing hope, And so he slithers into wickedness sometimes, Other times into doing good. If he honors the law of the land And the oath-bound justice of the gods, (370) Then his city shall stand high. But no city for him if he turns shameless out of daring. He will be no guest of mine, He will never share my thoughts, If he goes wrong.
Write: What does the Ode say about what we humans are like?
Watch: A Close-Reading of Antigone and Creon
Write: What’s motivating Antigone and Creon? How do they explain themselves?
Watch: What happens in the rest of the play?
Write: Thoughts about the plot summary?
Read: The Rest of Antigone
Entirely optional! But you might consider reading the rest of the play on your own. It’s not necessary for the essay assignment, and it won’t be on the exam, but we invite you to read the rest of the play sometime (maybe even in the summer!).
Watch: Getting Ready for Module 4
Helping your friends and harming your enemies; or, can we become morally wiser just by thinking carefully about it?
Poll: Is it good moral advice to help your friends and harm your enemies?
Imagine our visitor from outer space again. They tell you that they want to spend some time on earth, but they’re wondering about this whole morality business – how they should treat other people. They’ve heard that one way to do it is to focus on helping your friends and harming your enemies. For this poll, you have to vote yes or no: is that good moral advice?
Write: A chance to say a little more about your moral advice
Optional Bonus Material
Listen: Greek Tragedy Podcast
Here’s a podcast of a conversation between two Stanford professors talking about Greek tragedy. Both professors are good friends of the SLE program and lecture in SLE regularly. You might find it interesting to take a listen to how two professors talk about Greek tragedy! The podcast site is also full of other podcasts on philosophical topics.
Read: A Different Version of the Ode to Man
It can be easy to forget when you’re reading the play, but the original version was in Ancient Greek! So the play you’ve been reading is a translation. Take a look at this other translation of the Ode to Man by a very famous Canadian poet, Anne Carson. Carson is well known for her interest in writing from the cultures of Ancient Greece.
THE ODE TO MAN FROM SOPHOCLES’ ANTIGONE by Anne Carson Many terribly quiet customers exist but none more terribly quiet than Man: his footsteps pass so perilously soft across the sea in marble winter, up the stiff blue waves and every Tuesday down he grinds the unastonishable earth with horse and shatter. Shatters too the cheeks of birds and traps them in his forest headlights, salty silvers roll into his net, he weaves it just for that, this terribly quiet customer. He dooms animals and mountains technically, by yoke he makes the bull bend, the horse to its knees. And utterance and thought as clear as complicated air and moods that make a city moral, these he taught himself. The snowy cold he knows to flee and every human exigency crackles as he plugs it in: every outlet works but one. Death stays dark. Death he cannot doom. Fabrications notwithstanding. Evil, good, laws, gods, honest oath taking notwithstanding. Hilarious in his high city you see him cantering just as he please, the lava up to here.