Antigone’s burial act: a rift between bios and logos in postmodern rewritings of Sophocles’s text

Postgraduate Thesis uoadl:1759207 390 Read counter

Unit:
Κατεύθυνση Αγγλόφωνη Λογοτεχνία και Πολιτισμός
Library of the School of Philosophy
Deposit date:
2017-08-02
Year:
2017
Author:
Baza Emilia
Supervisors info:
Ασημίνα Καραβαντά, Αναπληρώτρια Καθηγήτρια, Τμήμα Αγγλικής Γλώσσας και Φιλολογίας, Εθνικό και Καποδιστριακό Πανεπιστήμιο Αθηνών
Παναγόπουλος Νίκος, Επίκουρος Καθηγητής, Τμήμα Αγγλικής Γλώσσας και Φιλολογίας, Εθνικό και Καποδιστριακό Πανεπιστήμιο Αθηνών
Γερμανού Μάρω, Καθηγήτρια, Τμήμα Αγγλικής Γλώσσας και Φιλολογίας, Εθνικό και Καποδιστριακό Πανεπιστήμιο Αθηνών
Original Title:
Antigone’s burial act: a rift between bios and logos in postmodern rewritings of Sophocles’s text
Languages:
English
Translated title:
Antigone’s burial act: a rift between bios and logos in postmodern rewritings of Sophocles’s text
Summary:
This thesis will discuss how modern adaptations of Sophocles’s Antigone, such as Mac Wellman’s Antigone (2002) and Anne Carson’s Antigonick (2012), translate the politics of mourning and represent the shift from the practices and rituals of burial to a politics that accounts to the excluded and oppressed constituencies of the polis. Drawing on the political ordering of human life and its division into grievable and non grievable bodies, I will examine the current theoretical debate on biopolitics, by drawing on Roberto Esposito’s most recent work.
By pursuing a comparative analysis between two modern adaptations of Sophocles’s tragedy, namely Wellman’s Antigone and Carson’s Antigonick, I read politics of lamentation as it is recontextualized in contemporary political contexts when modern biopolitics is consolidated as a constitutive part of politics of exception and its systems of thought. More specifically, I discuss burial politics as it served American exceptionalism in Bush’s political administration after the terrorist events of 9/11, when the USA projected itself as a global superpower over weaker nations. Thus, war policies against Islamic nations were presented as humanistic interventions in favor of global peace and against terrorism. Consequently, I draw on Donald Pease’s theoretical analysis on the states of exception and Jacqueline Rose’s theory on the states of fantasy to explain how burial politics was integrated in American exceptionalism as a mechanism first to instill the state’s imaginary noble cause in the consciousness of the citizens and second to further support this cause through public praise and honor of the dead soldiers in public funerary orations. Thus, burial practices was an integral part of states of exception that enhanced the fantasized causes of the Homeland both internally (within the state) and externally (on a global level) in order to justify actions which violate the regulations of International Law and rename war practices as humanistic actions which promote global peace.
My research intends to shed light on questions of our modern era relevant to political concerns about the excluded singularities’ manifestation of power that transgresses human devaluation and humiliation and triggers a desire for life under the conditions of oppressive regimes, states of exception, colonization and racist policies, war contexts and immigration issues. Throughout my research I discuss the concept of miasma that constitutes the marginality of the other which triggers policies of exclusion and puts life and human ethics secondary to politics. The connection between bios and politics constitutes the social nature of the body which can only be defined through social interaction, as a member of the whole. The burial act of non-grievable dead bodies and politics of lamentation in Sophocles’s Antigone foreshadows similar acts in Western modernity under biopolitical conditions, where the excluded minorities’ rebellious performance engenders a politics and a struggle for the reinvention of the social, thus developing life through death. I read the aforementioned acts as a rift between bios and logos, which projects a powerful political message of the social, political but also ontological potentiality of the marginalized constituencies and their collectivities.
Main subject category:
Language – Literature
Keywords:
Biopolitics, burial practices, Antigone, Sophocles, States of exception, lamentation, Mac Wellman, Anne Carson
Index:
No
Number of index pages:
0
Contains images:
No
Number of references:
31
Number of pages:
51
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