In order to grasp the notion of “Human Nature”, the class paused today to discuss this extract from Sophocles.
Wonders are many and none more wonderful than man …
In the meshes of his woven nets, cunning of mind, ingenious man …
He snares the lighthearted birds and the tribes of savage beasts,
and the creatures of the deep seas …
He puts the halter
roundthe horse’s neck
And rings the nostrils of the angry bull.
He has devised himself a shelter
rigorsof frost and the pelting rains.
Speech and science he has taught himself,
and artfully formed laws for harmonious civic life …
deathhe fights in vain.
But clear intelligence – a force beyond measure –
moves to work both good and ill …
When he obeys the laws and
honorsjustice, the city stands proud …
But man swerves from side to side, and when the laws are
and set at
naught, he is like a person without a city,
humanboundary, a horror, a pollutionto be avoided.