Antigone Plot Diagram: Three-Act Structure
Lesson Plan Reference
Grade Level 9-12
Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)
Type of Assignment Individual or Group
Type of Activity: Plot Diagrams and Narrative ArcsCommon Core Standards
- [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/2] Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text
- [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/3] Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme
- [ELA-Literacy/RL/9-10/5] Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise
Students can create and show a storyboard that captures the concept of a Five or Three Act Structure by creating either a three- or six-cell storyboard which contains the major parts of the diagram.
Aristotle’s Three Act Structure
Aristotle believed that every piece of poetry or drama must have a beginning, middle, and end. These divisions were developed by the Roman, Aelius Donatus, and called protasis, epitasis, and catastrophe. The three act structure has seen a revival in recent years, as cinema blockbusters and hit TV shows have adopted it. The beginning (protasis) consists of setup, the middle (epitasis) contains conflicts, thwarted protagonist, or complications, and the end (catastrophe) is where fortunes are reversed and the protagonist meets their fate.
Example Antigone Three Act Structure
Antigone's brothers are dead, but her uncle has decided to leave Polyneices unburied. She knows this is not right, and decides to ignore Creon's law to do what is right.
Antigone is able to give her brother funeral rights, but she is caught. She has challenged Creon’s authority, and he sentences her to death. Even his son, her fiance, cannot convince him to change his mind.
Antigone is walled away in a cave to starve to death. Meanwhile, Teiresias, the prophet, comes to reason with Creon. Teiresias frightens Creon with the wrath of the gods, and Creon agrees to bury Polyneices and free Antigone. They arrive at the cave too late; Antigone has hung herself. Her fiance kills himself, leading his mother, the queen, to do the same. In the end, Creon is left cursed, and in despair.
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Create a visual plot diagram of Antigone.
- Separate the story into the Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
- Create an image that represents an important moment or set of events for each of the story components.
- Write a description of each of the steps in the plot diagram.
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