Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Captain's Log, Day 38: More From My Archives

          Two more things that I found buried on the hard drive of my computer: one, a poem by my brother, and two, an old book report from way back (in the fifth grade, I think?) that is so hilarious I'm surprised I got away with it. Maybe my teacher didn't like the book either...

                                               The Battle of Spelling

          The battle of spelling is always absurd,
          You give me a noun, I attack with a verb;
          Suddenly a notebook page is laid waste,
          From a war to spell “cheese” and “gourmet” and “taste,”
          And then—oh no—a horrible cry!
          A pull at the nose and a poke in the eye!
          A jab and a gouge and a—
          WILL YOU STOP THAT???????

                       Summary and Analysis of Antigone
                                                                                                By Radar Midway
The Greek story Antigone is a tragedy. A tragedy is a story where the main character, through a lapse of judgment, does something that normally is not a big deal but has tragic results because something turns up. In this case, a girl named Antigone decides to go bury her brother, who turned against his country and tried to raid her town. Her other brother fought him and they both died. The second brother was buried with honors, but they left the other guy to rot on the plain. They didn’t even give him burial rights. Anyway, the leader of this town, Creon, decrees that anyone who gives the guy the burial rights prescribed by the gods would die. Go figure, Antigone decides to bury him anyway. She’s caught of course, and to make things more interesting, she’s Creon’s son’s wife-to-be. Creon and his son have a discussion (in the interest of accuracy, it’s more like an argument) about what to do, in which this stupid chorus keeps popping up to agree with what everybody says. (Yes, the man should be left to rot and the girl killed. No, he and she shouldn’t. Your father’s right, he’s got more sense and experience. Your son’s right, he’s got more wisdom and sense, etc.) In the end, Creon decides not to kill the girl, but seal her up in a cave because he didn’t want the people to think that a girl triumphed over him. He’s still going to let the guy rot. (Chorus agrees.) He seals the girl up, posts a guard over the guy (P.U! I wonder what poor sucker got that assignment?) and goes back to the city. Of course, right when everything is solved to Creon’s and the chorus’ satisfaction (it’s not hard to satisfy the choruses), a prophet arrives and delivers a message, the usual “Doom, death and destruction” except without the destruction, about what is going to happen if the girl isn’t set free and the guy buried. (Chorus agrees.) Creon insults the prophet and says something to the effect of, “He’s wicked, so I shouldn’t give him the burial rights the gods said I should give.” (Chorus agrees.) The prophet said that death will strike his family, or something to that effect, and that he should listen to the gods. (Chorus agrees.) Creon reluctantly says OK, then sets out with a helper to bury the guy first. Big mistake. As he is digging the grave, he hears a cry from the direction of the cave. He dropped his tools and limped to the cave (he should have watched where he threw down that pickax). Upon arriving, he sees that Antigone has hung herself and that his son is there, very sad and angry.  When he spots Creon, he yanks out a sword. Creon jumps out of the way, but the son has no intention of killing him and instead kills himself. Creon sadly makes his way back to the city, where he finds that word of this has gotten back already (bad news was the only thing back then that traveled faster than the speed of sound) and that his wife has killed herself as well. When he hears this, Creon cries out and asks why he should still be living and if anyone will kill him too. (He abruptly changes his mind when the choruses agree and reach for some pickaxes. The choruses thought that extremely funny. Some of them laughed so hard they had to leave the scene to use the restrooms1.) That is about where everything stand when the story ends. Antigone is the main character (she’s the one with the judgment lapse, even though Creon is the one who insulted a prophet—that’s usually a bad idea) and Creon was the one who changed the most; unfortunately, a member and a member-to-be of his family died before he obeyed the gods and buried  his most hated enemy.

1.       This part actually isn’t in the book. It’s artistic license.

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