Even before Monday’s enlightening lecture, when I had no idea what 80% of Antigone’s claim was about, one point in particular stood out for me: If, as Butler says, Antigone was not motivated by the household gods, but instead acted out of incestuous love for her brother, then is not her act, by definition, selfish?
Antigone is given such high praise as this martyr for justice and individuality, while ironically, should the above statement be true, her act of defiance was nothing more than an act of passion, blind and unthinking.
This explanation would help to explain her absolute refusal to bend or break, as well as her idiotic (in my opinion) refutation of life. Similar blindness and wanton disregard for the safety of themselves and others around them can be found in many romantics throughout literature’s history.
Finally, as Butler says, this “law” that Antigone invokes, has but one application, and therefore is not universal. This leads to my most perplexing question of all: If Antigone’s act is selfish, careless, motivated by love (lust) & frankly a little crazy, then why does, as Tiresias says on P. 115 (my book is a different edition), “the whole city agree with her” (I’m paraphrasing here to fit the context better, but you get the idea)?
What makes the city side with this woman, who at the time had no right to speak out, who is invoking a non-existent law, which inevitably causes much trouble and bloodshed?