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Ethical Consciousness in the Spirit of Tragedy: Hegel’s Antigone

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journal contribution
posted on 21.05.2017, 04:40 by Rhonda Khatab
Within literary theory and philosophical discourse, Sophocles’ Antigone has been a significant source of questions pertaining to the relationship of individual and state. Indeed, the Antigone figures prominently in the context of Hegel’s account of “The Ethical Order,” which represents the conflict between the spheres of Divine and Human Law, with reference to the tragic as reflected within Greek ethical life. Following an interpretation of this section on “The Ethical Order,” this paper undertakes a more engaged reading of Hegel’s account of the Antigone, in critical juxtaposition with a re-reading of Sophocles’ Antigone. In challenging contrast to Hegel’s account of the tragedy, this interpretation of the play gives emphasis to the argument that the conflict presented in Antigone foreshadows that between individual subjective will and communal right that becomes the defining problem (both politically, and philosophically) of modernity.


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