Who is Antigone?

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Antigone’s Claim was a really interesting read for me – I got the impression it might be a bit dry but I actually loved it! Although I didn’t entirely agree with all of Butler’s arguments, Antigone’s Claim raised some interesting questions/ideas for me, so here they are (in some kind of order …)

1. Did she or did she not have an incestuous thing for Polyneices? Butler strongly implies that she did, and Jill suggested in lecture yesterday that she did, but I’m still not 100% sure. I feel like maybe she just wanted all her brothers to be equal in death? This also brings up the question of whether she regarded Oedipus as something like a brother as well, which ties into my next idea.

2. What was her relationship like with Jocasta? She didn’t really have a ‘mother’ figure after she discovered the curse in the same way she didn’t have a ‘father’ figure. (In Antigone’s Claim, Butler says that Antigone means anti-generation, which relates to her having no clear parental figures.)

3. Ethics is discussed heavily here and I know it ties into Antigone’s whole decision making process and even more into that of Ismene. Having said that, I feel like it’s a bit of a different issue than the one we’re dealing with here – I think the term ‘ethics’ is very general and the problem here is more to do with morals. Then again, aren’t ethics and morals more or less the same thing?

4. I liked the idea of Antigone being ‘dead’ in life – it’s interesting. Just because she lived a life free of love and motherhood, does that mean she lived a life in which she was symbolically dead? I would argue that by defying Kreon and burying Polyneices, she made a name for herself and therefore will never truly be ‘dead’.

5. Homosexuality is discussed in the last chapter and I don’t know what it’s doing in this book. Can anyone shed some light on this for me?


That’s all for now – I’m looking forward to discussing some of these things (among others) in seminar tomorrow and Friday!