Winter 2023 Fundamental Questions Seminar: Sophocles' Antigone

Feb 16, 2023
Gavin House
1220 E 58th St.
Chicago, IL 60637
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David LyonsUniversity of Chicago

Open to current undergraduate students at the University of Chicago. Registration is capped at 20. Students who register after capacity has been reached will be put on a waitlist. All registrants will be provided with a copy of the text.


“For death is gain to him whose life, like mine, is full of misery.” 

Here is the paradigmatic tragic lament, wrenched from Antigone in Sophocles' famous play. But what is tragedy? Is life miserable because it is meaningless? Or is the tragedy not that life has no value, but that it has too many values? What does one do when one’s responsibilities to family, country, and religion collide? And how does one hold onto one’s freedom and identity in the face of undeniable, but incompatible, demands? Join us as we explore what this ancient text about a young woman struggling to bury her brother can tell us about our own more modern–and less melodramatic–lives. 


This event is part of Lumen Christi’s Fundamental Questions seminar, a quarterly reading group designed for undergraduate students at the University of Chicago. By fostering intellectually rigorous conversation around culturally resonant texts, we aim to allow students to experience the force of the deep existential concerns which animate our lives: “Where do my values come from? What is the good life? How can I become happy?” Our aim is not to answer such fundamental questions, but rather to equip students with the intellectual skills needed to recognize and articulate them for themselves. 

This fundamental questions seminar meets three times during the quarter. For each session, we will meet and discuss over dinner.  Dinner is served at 6:00pm. Discussion begins at 6:15.



6:00 PM Dinner | 6:15 PM Discussion

Week 3 : Thursday, January 19: lines 1-331 (p. 3-16)

Week 5 : Thursday, February 2: lines 332-780 (p. 16-36)

Week 7 : Thursday, February 16: lines 781-end (p. 36-60)