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Fate vs. Free Will Julius Caesar, Antigone, and The Matrix

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Part A
In Julius Caesar and Antigone, Shakespeare and Sophocles created complex characters who were defined by fate and the exercise of their free will. Citing specific evidence from both primary texts, students will write a 2 paragraph response in which they explain how Shakespeare and Sophocles treat fate or free will positively or negatively in Antigone or Julius Caesar. Students should analyze the following 4 quotes and explain how each quote from the selections highlights free will or fate as a strength or weakness for the protagonists using textual evidence to justify their analyses.

Part B
Students will write an explanatory essay in which they will analyze how Julius Caesar, Antigone, and The Matrix reveal characters with complex and conflicting motivations who are defined through their encounters with the themes of fate and free will. Although The Matrix is a modern-day film that explores the roles of fate and free will in individuals’ actions, the film has numerous similarities with Antigone and Julius Caesar. Students should include evidence of Antigone's choices to defy Creon and Caesar's defiance of omens, the soothsayer, and Calpurnia in their analysis of the role of fate versus free will in the primary texts. Students will draw comparisons between the protagonists, Neo, Antigone, and Julius Caesar, and analyze how fate or free will contributed to their development and/or demise. In their analysis, students will answer the following questions and provide textual evidence from the primary texts or movie clips to justify their analysis of the characters and themes.
• When faced with the dilemma of choice versus fate, which option is treated as the least favorable or most problematic in the literature selections and film clips?
• How do the literature selections and film clips explore the role of choice for the protagonists in fulfilling their destinies or choosing their own paths?
• What parallels can you draw between Neo’s decision to choose the blue or red pill and Caesar's decision to go to the Senate and Antigone's decision to defy Creon?
Total Pages
2
Answer Key
N/A
Teaching Duration
2 Days

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Fate vs. Free Will Julius Caesar, Antigone, and The Matrix
Fate vs. Free Will Julius Caesar, Antigone, and The Matrix