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Tragedy as Political Theory: The Self-Destruction of Antigone's Laws
Uppsala University, Humanistisk-samhällsvetenskapliga vetenskapsområdet, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Government.
2005 (English)In: History of Political Thought, ISSN 0143-781X, Vol. XXVI, no 3, 377-396 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This paper attempts to save Hegel’s claim that tragedy involves mutual guilt on the part of the adversaries in the drama. More specifically, it is claimed that a reading interested in the political theory of tragedy has to work in a different way than has hitherto often been the case. For the claims regarding the ‘subjectivity’ of interpretation can be countered if the interpretation of the play is based on an internal critique, i.e. in a normative assessment proceeding from the principles stated by the adversaries themselves. Hence it is argued that in Sophokles’ Antigone not only Kreon, but also Antigone herself is inconsistent in her attachment to the bonds of philia, of the community of the ‘one womb’ that she wishes to protect. This implies that the tragedy itself shows the self-destructive nature of Antigone’s ‘laws’ and that this normative reading can developed out of the work of art itself.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2005. Vol. XXVI, no 3, 377-396 p.
Keyword [en]
Greek tragedy, political theory, Hegel, Sophokles, Antigone
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies) History of Ideas Philosophy General Literature Studies Specific Languages
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-21556OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-21556DiVA: diva2:49329
Available from: 2006-12-30 Created: 2006-12-30 Last updated: 2011-01-12

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Tralau, Johan
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