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HUMA 1825 Study Guide - Midterm Guide: Leonard Melfi, Embalming, Positive Law

Course Code
HUMA 1825
Neil Braganza
Study Guide

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HUMA 1825 Test Prep Note
What is Creon’s concept of law and justice? What is Antigone’s concept of law and
justice? Put another way, what is each character’s position on law and morality?
- Creon’s justice is that heroes are honoured and treated as such, whereas
traitors should be left on the roadside for the consumption of animals.
- Antigone believes that everyone is equal after death, despite his or her
actions and beliefs in life.
- Creon’s concept of law is that he as a ruler can create laws that will represent
the greater good of his city.
- Antigone only focuses on natural law and would rather “Serves the law of the
Gods than the law of man”
What are Creon’s principles? Do those principles change in the course of the play?
How does Creon change in the course of the play?
- Originally, Creon sees himself as this great, almighty and powerful ruler who
has the ability to make any laws that he seems fit for the city, regardless of
their consequences. Therefore, if anyone were to disobey these laws he
wouldn’t think twice before punishing them.
- When he is foretold that his actions are rash and will end bad by the
soothsayer, he quickly changes his methodology and believes that he
shouldn’t be so rash (makes a complete 180o turn)
- He starts out from this hard, merciless ruler who turns into a panicking
coward (he changes out of fear that his family is going to fall apart)
Compare the theme of the choral odes. How does the perspective of the chorus
- In the beginning the Chorus is in complete support of Creon and the creation
of his new law and consider Antigone to be a reckless, self-centered brat
- During the middle of the play, however, the Chorus starts to change its
perspective on Antigone’s actions and now sees what she’s done as a
honourable decision.
- Near the end the Chorus attempts to dissuade Creon from making the
mistake of killing Antigone.
How important is gender in this tragedy? Which characters treat it as an important
- Antigone is definitely one of the characters that bring gender into
consideration. Her original premise for disobeying Creon and burying her
brother is that as a woman, one of her sacred duties is to bury the dead, and
perform burial rituals for the men in her family.
- Creon also focuses a great amount of interest in being a “man”, and in such
not being able to step down to the ideology of a woman. He also sees women
as replaceable objects, and thus disregards what they have to say.
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Is Antigone a moral exemplar? What, if any, are her shortcomings?
- Antigone definitely works well as a moral exemplar because she
demonstrates that for the sake of justice, she is willing to die. I feel that this
makes her an exemplar because unlike Creon she demonstrates that she will
not be willing to change her ideology no matter how grim the outcome or
punishment will be. One shortcoming I see though is that her reasoning is
that of a brat; in the sense that she doesn’t listen to reason and sticks through
to the end with her own ideology, regardless of what her uncle or sister have
to say to her.
Melfi v. Mount Sinai Hospital
What are the facts of this case?
- Leonard Melfi was a playwright who died of a heart attack in a hospital.
- The operating surgeon had provided his name, but decided to omit any other
information including his address, SIN, and contact information
- His body remained in the hospital’s morgue for 30 days, at which point it was
transferred to another morgue. He was then experimented on and buried in a
mass grave.
- Four months after his death, his family received information of his death.
- The plaintiff filed a claim that “no notifications were made regarding Mr.
Melfi’s death and his body was illegally embalmment [sic] without
permission of the next of kin
- In October 2002 the plaintiff commenced this action against the city
defendants and Mount Sinai Hospital
What was the decision made in lower court?
- His claim was too late because it was more than 90 days over, and since it
wasn’t the Mount Sinai hospital that experimented on his brother, his claim
fell through.
What issues should be discussed in appeal court?
- What constitutes the correct amount of time for the plaintiff to realize that
they have been emotionally anguished
- Freedom from mental disturbances?
- How would you recompense for emotional harm?
What is the difference between justice and injustice?
- The characteristic on the basis of which people are disposed to do just things
on the basis of which they act justly and wish for just things
- Injustice is people are unjust and wish for unjust things
- Justice is a desire for everyone to be virtuous
What is the difference between arithmetic equality and proportional reciprocity?
- Arithmetic Equality has the purpose of making things the “same” in the sense
that it takes away from one, to give to the other to “balance” them out.
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