Antigone and the Problem of Freedom Cover Image

Antigona i problem slobode
Antigone and the Problem of Freedom

Author(s): Milena Stefanović
Subject(s): Epistemology, Political Philosophy, Social Philosophy, Greek Literature, Ancient Philosphy, Ontology
Published by: Филозофски факултет, Универзитет у Новом Саду
Keywords: tragedy; hiatus of the Spirit; Hegel’s and feminist interpretation of Antigone and Creon; political action; freedom;

Summary/Abstract: The paper discusses the interpretation of the conflict between Antigone’s and Creon’s principles in Sophocles’ tragedy Antigone, considering philosophical-political context of antiquity and contemporary feminist interpretations. Principal idea is to emphasize interpretation of Hegel’s understanding of the tragic in tragedy Antigone, as described in Phenomenology of Spirit, as well as interpretation of feminists conceptualizing Antigone as “female” principle in which they search for their ontological foundation for own political activism. However, following Hegel’s interpretation of Antigone and critique of nature and idea of natural law, we will attempt to explain that Creon himself represents a political, democratic principle, the evolving seed from which modern state and its guarantee of freedoms and rights would be born through historical process of Spirit. On the other hand, Antigone, whose principle is equally legitimate as Creon’s, symbolizes a pre-state principle, an unconscious substance of natural law that protects the household gods, law of blood, tribal patriarchal relations and, as such, has to perish and be overcome. The second dimension of analysis focuses on Creon’s ambivalent selfness, tormented by tragic conflict of two sides of the Spirit - conscious and unconscious substance. Although Creon’s action represents conscious substance embodied in universality of the law of polis, the aim is to highlight those sentences of Antigone which indicate a schism of Creon’s inner selfness, which is literally tragedy, but tragedy within himself.

  • Issue Year: 2012
  • Issue No: 18
  • Page Range: 133-145
  • Page Count: 13
  • Language: Serbian