Achilles' Shield celebrates the extraordinary vigor of life on this earth. It is also Homer's hopeful vision of a world moving toward peace as its citizens work in concert with nature and each other. Thus Achilles' Shield is a fitting icon for a course that asks, "What does it mean to be a human being living in society?"
Let the Festival Begin
As you are aware from Plato’s
Crito, the dialogue is an ancient form in which a philosophical discussion is presented like a drama with several speakers. Each speaker represents a different point of view about the specific topic under discussion. You and two or three classmates will write and present to the class a modified version of the dialogue exploring
one of the following topics:
four speakers in your dialogue must be from the following groups:
You may choose any setting--modern or otherwise. Anachronisms are welcome. In other words, you may place all of your characters in Socrates’ cell the night before he dies or in Martin Luther King’s Birmingham Jail cell. Or you may have them riding in an elevator or seated in the Tiger Lair of the LSU Union. Your speakers may be on their way to a Senate hearing on ethical practices in today’s huge corporations. The possibilities are endless!
Your dialogue must involve four speakers as per the list above and must be at least 4 to 5 typed single-spaced pages (it can be longer), double spaced whenever there is a change of speaker. Give your dialogue an interesting title.
You will have more than a week of unstructured class time (see Course Schedule) in which you and your group write, perfect, and rehearse your dialogue. Bring your laptop so that your group can compose during class (or else do it the old way--quill and paper).
Presentation of Dialogues:
--Because your dialogue has four speakers, if there are only three in your group, someone will have to double up as did the ancient Greeks in their Festival Dionysius.
You will be graded on originality and a mastery of the four different viewpoints. Your dialogue should demonstrate an understanding of the way your writers think. Your group’s evaluation of each member and a class evaluation of your presentation will also make up a small percentage of your grade. Right before your presentation, turn in a script (with the names of all group members indicated at the beginning).
Note: Dialogues may take a few minutes to load.
Created by Dorothy McCaughey 09/28/2010
Louisiana State University