Making a Judgment: Who is the Tragic Hero of Antigone?, Scene 4 and 5 (1 of 2)

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SWBAT gather textual evidence to make a judgment about a character by acting out Scene 5 of Antigone and determining who the tragic hero is.

Big Idea

If a play is meant to be seen, shouldn't we give students an opportunity to put movement to the words?

Warm Up

10 minutes

As class begins, students will answer the following prompt which will be projected on the Smart Board:

Teiresias: “All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.” 

Write a response for this statement from Teiresias.  Do you agree?  Disagree?  Write a claim and one piece of evidence to support your claim.  Your evidence should come from something other than Antigone.  

In this warm up, students write a claim and support that claim with a piece of evidence (W.9-10.1).  I want students to take a theme from Antigone and apply it to the world around them.  I will give students five minutes to write and we will discuss their answers for five minutes.  While discussing answers, I will ask students to evaluate the evidence their peers used.  We will discuss the stronger pieces of evidence (from books, news, current events, historical events, etc) compared to the weaker pieces of evidence (personal experience, movie, song).  The quote I chose will help students gather evidence for determining who the tragic hero is, which is our focus today.   



Reading aloud in class

25 minutes

We will circle the classroom and read Scene 4 and the beginning of Scene 5 aloud in class (RL.9-10.10).  I circle students for them to be accountable.  With everyone facing the middle, there is "no where to hide."  I allow students to volunteer for roles and I ask students who haven't had an opportunity to read, to read a small part.  I know not all students are comfortable reading aloud, but there are some small parts where hopefully they will feel comfortable. This students reading Antigone aloud video demonstrates this process.  

Today, I have varied the instructional, whole class, reading process.  Previously, we read the play in small groups, today, we read the play as an entire class.  I have varied the process to keep students engaged.  I know some students don't particularly enjoy working in a group so this will help them feel more comfortable.  

Let's act out the final scene

20 minutes

Sophocles' play was certainly meant to be acted.  Now that students have read Scenes I-V, they will act out the conflict in the final scene.  I will choose five actors to present the scene for us.  Students will have ten minutes to practice and prepare.  I will assign an acting coach to each actor.  That coach will review the lines with the actor and help him/her prepare.  I do this so that all students are involved.  Diving back into the text to look closely at a character's lines and the stage directions will help students develop a conceptual understanding of what happens in the text (RL.9-10.3). I tell students:

To truly capture the essence of your character, you must refer back to previous lines, situations, conflict, etc.  As you act this scene out, make sure you are analyzing how your character developed over the course of the text and how they, in this last scene, advance the plot (RL.9-10.3)


Here are students acting out Antigone. 

Let's make a judgement and write!

20 minutes


We have had a long day reading, acting a scene out, analyzing character and now we are going to finish the day with some writing! 

To prepare students for tomorrow, we will finish class with a review of a Tragic Hero and a writing assignment.  First, I will ask students to make a collaborative list of the traits of a Tragic Hero.  In our text book, there is a list of Tragic Hero traits.  I'll write these traits on the board.  

After we make our list and discuss those traits, students write a response to the following:

Now that we have finished the play, it is time for you to do some writing.  Think about all of the evidence you've gathered in your analysis of Antigone.  While looking at your definition of a Tragic Hero, write a paragraph describing who is the Tragic Hero in our play (W.9-10.9).  Be sure to explain why.  

We will use this paragraph to build our arguments in tomorrow's continuation of this lesson.