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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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Antigone, Antigone: Lacan and the Structure of the Law

Antigone, Antigone: Lacan and the Structure of the Law

Chapter:
(p.147) 8 Antigone, Antigone: Lacan and the Structure of the Law
Source:
Interrogating Antigone in Postmodern Philosophy and Criticism
Author(s):

Ahuvia Kahane

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199559213.003.0009

This chapter considers the structure of ethical action in Sophocles' Antigone in the context of Lacan's key comments on the play and on the ethics of psychoanalysis, and with special attention to some recent criticism of Lacan by Judith Butler. The chapter attempts to re‐phrase the ‘economy’ of Antigone's choice, her absolute commitment to her brother's precedence, as well as questions of kinship, in terms of temporality and especially with regard to the brother's singular unrepeatability. Understanding Lacan's fundamental approach to the question of time (‘logical time’, ‘anticipatory certitude’, etc.) and to the questions of topology, as well as some of their underpinnings in science and philosophy can, the chapter argues, help us redefine, not only Antigone's action, and thus also the action of the play Antigone, but also to see the claims of her commitment and the general structure of ethical action more clearly.

Keywords:   Lacan, Butler, structure, the law, diachrony, synchrony, topology, time

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