Nexus: Antigone & THE GREEK WORLD
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SUMMARY OF ANTIGONE & THE GREEK WORLD volume of NEXUS
ANTIGONE AND THE GREEK WORLD interdisciplinary NEXUS book explores the nexus (web of connections) between Sophocle's tragedy Antigone and ancient Greek history, art, theater, music, and science.
"Antigone's Challenge uses the play's language alongside contemporary parallels to situate Antigone's defiance of authority. Sections detail Sophocles' use of contrast and introduce the play's theme, language, plot, and character. A section on maxims provides a lead-in to the "NEXUS four-step method of explication." Another section explains how plays taught Athenians to debate, reason, and make decisions democratically."
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WHEN THE GODS RULED
Traces the evolution of ancient Greek religion and mythology.
ROOTS OF DRAMA - RITES OF DIONYSUS
- Provides a colorful examination of the ancient festivals that evolved into Greek Drama.
- What was Greek theater like?
- Examines the structure of Greek tragedy.
THE BIG THREE (Nexus Supplement, free with class-set orders)
Traces the evolution of Greek Drama through excerpts from the works of Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides.
ANTIGONE'S CHALLENGE: DEMOCRACY OR DICTATORSHIP (see sample below)
- Discusses the role of women and men in Ancient Greece.
- Explores Sophocles use of contrast and opposites in language, theme, plot, and characterization.
- Examines the purpose of maxims in Greek literature.
- Examines how the stage provided lessons in democracy in ancient Athens.
- Questions and activities for students are embedded in the text.
A RECIPE FOR TRAGEDY: ARISTOTLE AND OEDIPUS REX (see sample below)
Teaches students Aristotle's recipe for tragedy, including the "law of necessity," "recognition," "reversal," and "tragic flaw," using Sophocles' Oedipus Rex as a model.
WRITING YOUR OWN DRAMA (Nexus Supplement, free with class-set orders)
- Teaches students to create plot maps using Antigone and The Wizard of Oz as models.
- Students learn to create characters for their own dramas using simplified sections of Aristotle's Poetics as guidelines.
GREEK ART - VISUAL STORYTELLING
- Teaches students to read the visual metaphors and contrasts on an ancient Greek vase that illustrates the climax of Euripides' play Medea.
- Traces of the development of Greek vases, from the Geometric and Oriental styles to Black- and Red-figure.
- A Delicate Balance - explores the evolution of Greek sculpture
- Includes acitivities for students.
OLYMPIC ODYSSEY & THE POETS WHO LIT THE TORCH
- Explores how sports intersected with culture (poetry, music and dance) at the Ancient Olympics.
- The Olympics - a competion between poets.
- Features a section on Women at the Games.
THE WIZARD OF SYRACUSE
- Revisits the ancient physics experiments of Archimedes.
- Explores the role Archimedes' ingenious designs played in defending Syracuse from Roman invaders.
- Students learn and emulate the thinking process behind the discovery of Pi (3.146...).
- Includes activities that encourage students to step into Archimedes' shoes.
THE ART OF THE MUSES: ANCIENT GREEK MUSIC
- Teaches students the role of music in drama and how to transcribe surviving excerpts of ancient Greek music into modern notation.
- Explores ancient Greek instruments.
- Includes activities for students, including how to make a panpipe.
THE HISTORY OF 5TH CENTURY GREECE
- The section begins with an exciting narrative of the Battle of Thermoplylae.
- Part one covers the Persian wars with links to and quotes from Aeschylus' The Persians.
- Part two explores the birth of Athenian democracy and the Peloponnesian War with quotes from Solon and Thucydides.
- Interactive questions for students are embedded in the text.
ATHENS HUBRIS - THE TURNING POINT OF THE WAR (Nexus Supplement, free with class-set orders)
- Explores Athens' decision to attack Melos during the Peloponnesian War.
- Examines the unprovoked Athenian attack on Sicily and its disastrous consequences.
GREEK MYTHS & MODERN MAN
From Freud to Disney, students learn how Greek myths are recycled in contemporary society.
OTHER SUPPLEMENTS (Nexus Supplements are free with class-set orders)
- Helpful teaching strategies that make KEATS' Ode on a Grecian Urn and Ode to Psyche interesting and accessible for students.
- We examine Euripides' anti-aggression tragedy THE TROJAN WOMEN.
- From the supplement DRAMATIC DANCE IN GREEK TRAGEDY, students learn the role of dance in Greek drama and how to choreograph a scene.
The cross-curriculum thinking skills we emphasize in this issue are OPPOSITES/CONTRASTS, SYMMETRY & BALANCE—key ideas in the Greek world.
To understand 5th-century Greece, scholars use an interdisciplinary approach very much akin to the NEXUS method. Students can benefit by doing the same. The knowledge gleaned from any one discipline is too scanty to paint a complete and vivid picture of that era. Only by combining what’s known of lyric and dramatic poetry, vase painting, sculpture, architecture, government, history, philosophy and natural science, does 5th-century Greece come into focus.
CONTRIBUTING AUTHORS AND CONSULTANTS for Antigone and the Greek World
- Dr. Donald R. Laing, Chair of the Department of Classics, Case Western Reserve University
- Dr. Jenifer Neils, Chair of the Department of Art History and Art, Case Western Reserve University, and co-author of Striving for Excellence: Greek Childhood and the Olympic Spirit and Coming of Age in Ancient Greece : Images of Childhood from the Classical Past, Yale University Press, 2003
- Dr. Vernard Foley, Associate Professor, Specializing in the History of Science and Technology, Purdue University and a frequent contributor to Scientific American and History of Technology
- Dr. Philip Neuman, Associate Professor of Music, University of Portland (Oregon), member of the early music ensemble De Organographia, and cartoonist
- Gloria Wilder, Bay Village Middle School Art Teacher
- Nexus Editor Jesse Bryant Wilder.