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Week 8 (May 16-22): Formal Essay #3 on Antigone and A Doll House, Due on May 22
Your Formal Essay #3 will involve some creative thinking as well as a close analysis of the two plays. This time, you are not required to use internet sources; in fact, it is particularly important for you to do your own thinking. This assignment might be called an exercise in time travel, because I want you to consider whether dramas written thousands of years apart, in very different societies, can be equally meaningful and moving to us. Choose ONE of the topics below for an essay of five paragraphs. Continue to use MLA format for your heading, title, page numbers, citation of quotes, and works cited list at the end. Thank you very much, and please be accurate in discussing the plays but also creative and imaginative in expressing your ideas.
Choose ONE topic, A or B:
A. As the protagonist of a Greek tragedy, Antigone is an extreme character in an extreme world of kings, queens, heroes, heroines, villains, and tragic endings. Explain how she would behave if she lived in the situation of Nora in A Doll House, which is a world of middle class and working class problems and more ordinary people. Judging from Antigone’s behavior and what she declares about herself, how would she act in this modern situation, particularly in relation to the men in these plays? Which of the women in your discussion do you admire the most, and why?
B. It is clear by the ending of A Doll House that Nora Helmer sees herself as a person with passionate beliefs completely out of place in the society around her–its norms of behavior, its attitude toward women, even its religion. Imagine her finding herself in other circumstances, the situation of Antigone, who defies King Creon even in the face of death. Judging from everything Nora does and says about herself, how do you think she would behave in this very different situation? Which of the women in your discussion do you admire the most, and why?