HERACLITIAN DYNAMICS IN THE ANTIGONE AND THE FALLACY OF THE RIGHT OF THE STRONGEST

DOI: https://doi.org/10.17721/1728-2659.2022.31.11

Keywords: Sophocles' Antigone, hubris, nemesis, Peloponnesian War, illegitimate power, hegemony

Abstract

The endless debates on Sophocles' Antigone reflect different analytical perspectives as to the multiple and concurrent dualities intertwined in the drama, like legality and legitimacy, lawfulness and morality, expediency and tradition, humans and the divine. Still, subjective perspectives notwithstanding, a conceptually and aesthetically prevalent duality in the Antigone pertains to the head-on conflict between (king Creon's) material power and (Antigone's) moral strength: Adult Creon's reasoning for enforcing his deadly kingly edict on adolescent Antigone is well founded with respect to the imperative need to maintain law and order in his dominion, as a necessary condition for reinstituting socio-political stability and ensuring the security and independence of his polis, especially in extreme conditions of civil warfare; nevertheless his aesthetically hubristic exertion of power leads the monarch's own family to self-destruction. In this mythological twist of fate, the Antigone brings to the fore artistically (and barely disputably) the limitations of the so-called right of the strongest, because the strongest is never strong enough to be always the master, unless he transforms strength into right, and obedience into duty.

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Published
2022-07-22
How to Cite
Pappas, J. D., & Asimakopoulou, D. (2022). HERACLITIAN DYNAMICS IN THE ANTIGONE AND THE FALLACY OF THE RIGHT OF THE STRONGEST: DOI: https://doi.org/10.17721/1728-2659.2022.31.11. Bulletin of Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv. Literary Studies. Linguistics. Folklore Studies, (1(31), 55-60. Retrieved from https://philology-journal.com/index.php/journal/article/view/59