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Interrogating Antigone in Postmodern Philosophy and Criticism$
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S. E. Wilmer and Audrone Zukauskaite

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199559213

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199559213.001.0001

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One Amongst Many: The Ethical Significance of Antigone and the Films of Lars Von Trier

One Amongst Many: The Ethical Significance of Antigone and the Films of Lars Von Trier

Chapter:
(p.135) 7 One Amongst Many: The Ethical Significance of Antigone and the Films of Lars Von Trier
Source:
Interrogating Antigone in Postmodern Philosophy and Criticism
Author(s):

Calum Neill

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199559213.003.0008

Like Sophocles' Antigone, the work of Lars von Trier is often called upon to illustrate a point regarding ethics. Among those who so use these works are many Lacanians, such as Žižek, and, indeed, Lacan himself draws on Antigone in The Ethics of Psychoanalysis. What needs to be clarified, however, is that Lacan does not, in his discussion of ethics, point to Antigone as an example of the ethical. Rather, he utilizes Antigone to discuss how ethics functions always subjectively. That is to say, for Lacan, key to understanding ethics is an understanding of the act in relation to desire. In drawing this lesson out of Lacan's seminar, Lacan's notion of ethics, his treatment of Antigone, and also, by extension, what it is that makes von Trier's films so ethically significant and amongst the most important film works of our time, can be better understood.

Keywords:   Antigone, desire, ethics, Lacan, Lars von Trier, Sophocles, the act, the ethics of psychoanalysis, Žižek

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