A Ricœurian perspective on Sophocles’ Antigone

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This paper intends to answer the following question: how Ricoeur will innovate in his interpretation of Sophocles’ Antigone, when, since Hegel, all possible antinomies were invoked to define its tragic conflict? Firstly, the paper sustains that Ricoeur’s view, developed in Oneself as Another, is explicitly ethical, and aims to show the tragic effects on life of incompatible good life beliefs. The intimate conflict between Antigone and Creon expresses each personal identity and none can change, because that would mean a betrayal of their authenticity. In life’s tragic moments there is no right ethical answer to solve its conflicts. However, Ricoeur also argues that the feeling of the tragic can illuminate the 9path to follow, forcing us to recognize the importance of the life’s spheres that are at stake, and form a new hierarchy of values, in order to avoid catastrophe and motivate us to reconcile opposing forces. Living well depends on creating 'new' personal goods that allow us to act and exist in community, with practical wisdom. Secondly, based on other Ricoeur’s works (Lectures I-III, Symbolism of Evil), and G.Steiner's Antigones, it’s argued that tragedy should be, above all, understood in the religious domain. Only a Greek theology enables us to better understand Sophocles' imaginary and Ricoeur's thought seems rich enough to be fair to the poet. Creon and **Antigone are subjugated to a theology that the Greeks believed in and feared: a 'demonic deity'. The confrontation becomes tragic, because it’s inseparable from this deity who is, simultaneously, too close and too far from humans. Too close, because the tragic is linked to the 'divine’s personalization'; too far, because the divine intervention doesn’t happen when humans most need it. As Ricoeur states, it’s a 'theological frustration' that, instead of resulting in atheism, becomes a dependent greek tragic faith.
Idioma originalEnglish
Título da publicação do anfitriãoRicoeur's Reception of the Greek Classics
EditoresGonçalo Marcelo, Inês Salgueiro, João Emmanuel Diogo
EditoraBloomsbury Publishing
Estado da publicaçãoEm preparação - 2024

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