By Bonnie Honig

ISBN-10: 1107036976

ISBN-13: 9781107036970

Sophocles' Antigone is a touchstone in democratic, feminist and felony concept, and doubtless the main commented upon play within the historical past of philosophy and political concept. Bonnie Honig's rereading of it consequently contains intervening in a number of literatures and unsettling a lot of their governing assumptions. Exploring the facility of Antigone in various political, cultural, and theoretical settings, Honig identifies the 'Antigone-effect' – which strikes those that enlist Antigone for his or her politics from activism into lamentation. She argues that Antigone's personal lamentations could be obvious not only as symptoms of dissidence yet quite as markers of a rival global view with its personal sovereignty and power. Honig argues that the play doesn't provide easily a version for resistance politics or 'equal dignity in death', yet a extra confident politics of counter-sovereignty and team spirit which emphasizes equality in lifestyles.

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Indeed, we might see Sophocles’ Antigone as what is left of Achilles in the domesticated democratic polis (and this, I will suggest in Part II, all by itself may be a comment on the post-heroic form of life of fifth-century Athens/Thebes). Both Achilles and Antigone, in love with Patroclus and Polynices, their brother-like lovers or lover-like brothers, cannot stop grieving without being forcibly interrupted. But it is surely important that the interruptions differ: the dance of lament and hunger, pain and pleasure, central to Homeric Greece, is replaced in Sophocles’ Thebes, as in the democratic Athens it mirrors distortedly, by sovereign power.

For Hegel, the function of burial, the purpose of interment (from in terra, literally “in the ground”), is to inter-rupt the natural processes by way of which the dead become organic parts of nature. With the word and deed of ritual, materiality, and speech act, with the stone marker, the cemetery plot, and the coffin, with the prayers, eulogies, and rituals for the dead, the family inserts itself into nature’s processes, interrupts them, and claims even the dead for human community. In Hegel, these so-called universals underwrite a contested kinship structure in which it is the sister’s duty to bury the brother.

Meanwhile, the conservative 34 Interruption woman – whose voice is also hard to take, it must be said, but her words are clear to North American audiences – rejects Lipscomb’s focus on her son above all the other US soldiers already lost or still in the fight. And so Lipscomb leaves behind this conflict, gives up her fledgling solidarity with the stall-woman, and turns to the White House. Alone and away from the two politicized, equality-centered women in Lafayette Park, Lipscomb returns to her focus on her singular son: “I need my son.

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Antigone, Interrupted by Bonnie Honig


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