By Bonnie Honig
Sophocles' Antigone is a touchstone in democratic, feminist and felony idea, and doubtless the main commented upon play within the background of philosophy and political thought. Bonnie Honig's rereading of it for that reason includes intervening in a number of literatures and unsettling lots of their governing assumptions. Exploring the facility of Antigone in numerous political, cultural, and theoretical settings, Honig identifies the 'Antigone-effect' - which strikes those that enlist Antigone for his or her politics from activism into lamentation. She argues that Antigone's personal lamentations will be obvious not only as symptoms of dissidence yet relatively as markers of a rival global view with its personal sovereignty and power. Honig argues that the play doesn't supply easily a version for resistance politics or 'equal dignity in death', yet a extra optimistic politics of counter-sovereignty and harmony which emphasizes equality in lifestyles.
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Additional resources for Antigone, Interrupted
White concedes that Priam leaves quickly, anxious perhaps that Achilles’ hospitality may not last long. But, White insists, when Achilles suspends Greek hostilities against Troy so as to allow Trojans a mourning period for Hector, Achilles goes beyond what the gods require him to do and it is the spirit of shared ﬁnitude that enables him to do this. White focuses on the two men’s shared mourning because he seeks to identify the minimal bases out of which ethical conduct may arise. 24 The mortalist humanist idea that we should dwell longer in grief or forge in grief new solidarities, or ﬁnd in grievability a new social ontology of equality, informs the recent move away from a justice of accountability in (post)conﬂictual politics and toward truth and reconciliation commissions that focus, rather, on forgiveness for or acceptance of those who confess their crimes and recount what happened to their victims.
14 When Derrida here contrasts modern eulogizing, which is politicized, with the Oration it replaces, he may seem to be saying that the Oration was a pure origin corrupted by present bad faith practices of eulogy. But as his critique of Aristotle in Politics of Friendship (1997) suggests, such bad faith eﬀorts are better seen as part of the practice in question, not as external to it, nor as corruptions of it. Where Aristotle distinguishes among virtue, pleasure, and use as distinct bases of distinct kinds of friendship, Derrida highlights their points of contact and contamination in Aristotle’s writings, and insists that this is where politics and friendship are situated: in the moments of undecidability, where we cannot distinguish for certain among virtue, pleasure, use, where they supplement and inﬁltrate each other, even though they are opposed.
I will seek here to alter that template by adjusting our understanding of the play, noting not just the elements of conﬂict, plotting, and struggle in agonism but also its commitments to mutuality, conspiracy, and intimacy, evident in Sophocles’ drama, as well as in politics more generally. For this to emerge out of the play, it will be necessary to look at Antigone not only in dialogue with Creon but also at Antigone in agonistic engagement with Ismene, with the Chorus, and with the audience. This will be the work of Part II of the book: Conspiracy.