Graduate Thesis Or Dissertation


Discovering Antigone: A Non-Normative Political Figure Public Deposited

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  • This thesis analyzes Sophocles’ classic Greek tragedy Antigone as it relates to biopolitics, biopower, democratic language and non-normative principles of politics. I argue that the figure of Antigone enables a better understanding of exclusive biopolitical philosophy. Antigone is a figure not recognized as human because her gender is tortured and transformative. Ultimately, Antigone is significant because she is disruptive and political. Chapter One focuses on Antigone as a disrupter, using Giorgio Agamben’s theory of the homo sacer and bare life to inform how the character complicates normative understanding of classic Greek literature as it relates to politics. She is a figure of the walking dead and the sacred woman. Chapter Two shifts to Antigone as a symbol of significance. The character is an exercise in self-reflection, particularly as it relates to state-power, democratic language, individualism and non-normative representation. The language of Antigone is democratic because she advances our normative cultural senses. Together, these chapters suggest that by being free from the limitations of time or place, Antigone is paradoxically able to retell her story equally in her own fictitious time as well as in the present time of constantly changing geopolitical environments. We as the audience therefore learn something about the world as it appears in each new era of political power.
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