Theme in Antigone:What is Sophocles’ message? A.K.A. “How to write a paragraph”
What is theme? • Theme = Topic + Message • Topic: general subject matter of literature • What do characters talk about the most? • Where are the conflicts (internal and external)? • Message/Lesson/Judgment: what the author is saying about the topic through the events of the story • What happens to the characters? What should the audience learn from this? • Is the author using a positive or negative example?
Topics of Antigone • Roles of men vs. Roles of women • Laws of gods vs. laws of men • Society vs. Individual • Family loyalty vs. Civic duty
Homework! • Write a theme (topic + message) of Antigone based on your work with conflict! • Ex: Sophocles’ Antigone demonstrates that women should take a stand against injustice and tyranny. • Topic: role of women • Message: women should take a stand against injustice
Your task! • Based on your reading of Antigone, what do you think is Sophocles’ essential message or theme? Define the theme and message of Antigone using examples from the text to support your position and explaining why you think this is Sophocles’ message.
Pre-write: Develop a circle map Brainstorm your examples and ideas that support the theme Example Explanation Example Explanation Theme Example Explanation Example Explanation
Thesis Statements • A clearly worded answer to a question and/or a clearly worded declaration of the view/idea a writer will prove. • One sentence with a subject and an opinion—NOT a restatement of an idea that is already generally accepted as true • Thesis = subject + opinion • Hint: Your thesis is the theme that you defined!!!
Topic Sentence • Construct the topic sentence of each paragraph by stating a reason to support your thesis [This statement goes in the first sentence of the paragraph]. • Ex: Antigone challenges the roles of women in Greek society.
Follow this format for setting up your body paragraphs: Topic sentence Explanation Example Elaboration Example Elaboration Example Elaboration
Body Paragraph Format [Topic sentence]: ________________________________________ [Explanation]: I mean that__________________________________ [Example]: For example, ___________________________________ [Elaboration]: __________________________________________ [Additional Example]: Another time that________________________ [Elaboration]: __________________________________________ Additional Example]: Additionally,___________________________ [Elaboration]: __________________________________________ [Concluding sentence]: ____________________________________
[Topic sentence]: Sophocles’ essential message in his play Antigone is that the laws of the gods should be honored and obeyed more than the laws of men. [Explanation]: I mean that because the gods have more power to intervene in the fate and destiny of men, their laws are higher than the ones that men make to govern their countries. [Example]: For example, Creon makes a law that Polyneices, his nephew and enemy who attacked Thebes, cannot be given proper burial rites. [Elaboration]: This shows that Creon thinks his own opinions and enemies are more important than the sacrifices that should be offered for the dead. [Additional Example]: However, Antigone is determined to bury her brother so that his soul will have passage to the underworld. [Elaboration]: Antigone’s defiance of the law demonstrates her belief that honoring the gods is more important than obeying her uncle, no matter what the punishment is. Additional Example]: Additionally, Antigone says to Creon, “All your strength is weakness itself against the immortal, unrecorded laws of God” when he questions her actions. [Elaboration]: Although Antigone acknowledges Creon’s personal strength, she knows that the gods themselves are stronger than Creon and their laws should be respected and honored as such. [Concluding sentence]: The laws of the gods, while difficult to obey when gods’ laws oppose human desires, still outrank the laws of men.
Here are some suggestions for elaborating (providing more support/details) in your paragraphs: Explanation: What do you mean by… Example: For example, For instance, Description: Concrete nouns, strong verbs, vivid adjectives Description (using figurative language): Similes, metaphors, imagery Personal experience: “I remember when” Cause / effect: Because… Since… If…then… Compare / Contrast Like or unlike Similarly… Another’s Experience ‘My friend once had…”