So I finally got home after hiding out in a coffee shop after work because some creepy old man came up to me and told me i was going to marry him and have his babies so here is my blog post.

First of all, I’m gonna have to agree with Andrew here when I say that I actually liked Antigone’s Claim, even if it was pretty dry at some parts and definitely confusing…I have to admit that I probably only started to understand what was going on in the book after Jill’s awesome lecture today.

My favourite part about Antigone’s Claim is that it touches on the fact that Antigone has been interpreted and read by so many different people and that everyone has a different lens on while reading Antigone (which is probably why our discussions can go on forever on this play in seminars). Well now you get to see this is through my lens.

Looking at Antigone in a more modern perspective, I do believe that she portrays the character of a female more than a male,  and although I have a couple reasons, this is my biggest one:
Her stubbornness and determination:
Let’s all be honest here. Women are probably the MOST stubborn things (LOL, things) in the world (well at least I am)…I look at Antigone and just by the way she is so determined to bury Polyneices-regardless of the the fact that she’ll be breaking a law- just screams out at me of how strong of a woman she is… Even in the context of this book (era wise), women have always been stubborn and determined to stick to their duties. In Antigone times, women had a DUTY to serve their husbands and to their families…and to me, Antigone sticks to these duties like glue. Some people interpret Antigone’s strong dedication to bury Polyneices and longing for death as an incestful act, and if this is true, then in Antigone’s mind, she might be “married” to him, therefore has a duty to serve him a final time by ensuring that he has a proper burial. I think that women have always been very stubborn and determined. Once they set their mind to something (regardless of their citizenship), they carry it through, especially when taking family and duties into account.

In addition to this, I am so glad that the lecture touched on this question, which has always confused me. What is Antigone’s Claim? And mostly, what are her intentions?
In lecture, Jill says that Antigone’s Claim is ambiguity, which makes total sense to me, because who can really tell what her claim is?

As I read Antigone, I was confused as to why Antigone wanted to be loud about burying her brother and so determined to be caught publicly. It honestly just boggled my mind. Antigone got away with the burial during her first try and if she told Creon that she did not bury Polyneices, he probably would have let her get away with it easily, but instead, Antigone wanted to make it as public as possible. BUT WHY?!?! Ugh. If she wanted to bury her brother because she loved him, then why not just bury him out of love and end it at that. Why seek so much attention after breaking the law? It actually still doesn’t make very much sense to me, but in reference to the lecture, it doesn’t have to! She’s ambiguous for a reason, and everything that she does doesn’t really need to be read into so deeply.

On page 4 in Antigone’s Claim, Butler refers to Irigaray as he refers to a section in Hegel’s text where he says that Antigone is “the eternal irony of the community”, and to me, that stuck out a lot, I’ll probably do my presentation on that so I’m not really going to elaborate on it right now.

I could be totally wrong in your opinion, but that’s the beauty of Antigone and Antigone’s Claim; There are just so many different lenses you can see this through.


Anyway I don’t know if I’ve made any sense here because I’ve been sick all week and stuck memorizing scripts, working 9 hour days, studying for my psych midterm-which I’m screwed for- tomorrow, prepping for auditions, trying to make it for cheer, and overall getting 4 hours of sleep at the most each night..so yeah I’m going to do laundry now and sit in the laundry room and study so I can stay awake. Enough of my whining, bye bye.

-j .


One thought on “Ahhhhhhhntigone!

  1. I also wonder about the question–just what IS Antigone’s claim, anyhow? It is, indeed, ambiguous in Butler’s text, just as she claims Antigone is. In one sense it’s just the claim that she should be able to bury her brother, that this is what the gods’ laws require, etc. But then I think Butler may be expanding that claim further, in ways discussed in lecture–she could also be read as making a claim for the importance of recognizing people and family relations that don’t fit the norm, which of course has resonance for us today. Her claim in this sense is one that is sometimes simply brushed off as asking for things that are unnatural, or unthinkable/unintelligible, just as Kreon brushes off her claim of the validity of burying her brother as unacceptable.

    Why does she insist on being public about what she’s done? Well, in the context of the play itself one might say that she thinks Kreon’s laws are not the most important ones, and that the community should also be paying attention to the gods’ laws. Perhaps she thinks those are in danger of being lost if they aren’t emphasized. That’s a guess on my part. In the context of Butler’s reading of the play, her public insistence on the importance of burying her brother, her public refusal to deny that she did it, could be read as trying to get what is currently not accepted in social life to be more accepted, make it part of social life. I’m not sure that’s what Butler would say, but possibly.

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