Restoring the classics teaching morality in Sophocles' Antigone through film

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.A. in English


Department of English


Advisor: James Boehnlein


With the multimedia world quickly consuming many aspects of high school students' lives, it is tough for the literary classics to keep up with the pace. Many teachers fear that this erosion will result in less focus being placed on these classics in the classroom and in the curriculum. These are the pieces which so often strive to educate the youth on the importance of ethics, morals, and justice in and out of the classroom. Through using various classical educational theorists in cooperation with current film pedagogy this thesis will prove that Sophocles' classic Antigone can be modern and applicable for the contemporary student. By using Louise Rosenblatt's Reader-Response Theory to approach four moral questions regarding family, state, love, and fate students will learn about their own concept of ethics and morality in relation to both modern film and the classical, universal text of Antigone. At the end of each moral question one of the four types of essays will be assigned which include narrative, expository, persuasive, or descriptive essays. Lessons will be designed with the support of theorists Benjamin Bloom, Lev Vygotsky, Jean Piaget, Erik Erickson, Lawrence Kohlberg, and David Kolb. As a final step, students will learn of Kohlberg's Theory of Moral Development. This will be used to produce a final comparison and contrast essay featuring a selected film and the text of Antigone. In reading this thesis, it is designed in chronological order as a teaching unit for a tenth grade English language arts course using academic content standards of the Ohio Department of Education.


Sophocles. Antigone Film adaptations Study and teaching, Moral conditions in literature Audio-visual aids Study and teaching, Ethics in literature Audio-visual aids Study and teaching, Education, Secondary Audio-visual aids

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