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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 and the Law: Legal Theory and the Ambiguities of Performance

Antigone and the Law: Legal Theory and the Ambiguities of Performance

Chapter:
(p.185) 10 Antigone and the Law: Legal Theory and the Ambiguities of Performance
Source:
Interrogating Antigone in Postmodern Philosophy and Criticism
Author(s):

Klaas Tindemans

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199559213.003.0011

This chapter focuses on the importance of a legal‐theoretical framework for any dramaturgy for performances of Antigone, probably Sophocles' most discussed tragedy today. Her ‘unwritten laws’ have been, in various stages in the history of legal thinking, quoted to underpin very different theories: principles of natural law, outlines of a constitutional framework, or a purely formal ‘transcendental category’ in Kant's sense. This dramaturgy should reflect upon the gap between the legalistic framework in ancient Athens and modern concepts of jurisprudence. Recent productions of Sophocles' Antigone in Flanders and the Netherlands, representative of contemporary theatrical practices, are analysed from this point of interest. The central inquiry in this respect deals with the way a legal‐philosophical argument generates a theatrical plus‐value of performances. Does the concept of law matter on stage today, as it obviously did in the case of Antigone's persona in ancient Athens?

Keywords:   tragedy, Sophocles, Antigone, unwritten laws, jurisprudence, contemporary theatre

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