By Keri Walsh
In 1936, Simone Weil defined Sophocles’s Antigoneto French manufacturing unit
workers as “the tale of a man or woman who, on their own, with none backing, dares
to be towards her personal nation, to the legislation of that kingdom, to the top of
its govt, and who's, obviously, quickly placed to death.” Weil’s insistence on
Antigone as a civilian protester, instead of Hegel’s version of female family
virtue, recurs all through writing of the fascist interval. From Virginia Woolf and
Louis MacNeice within the British Isles, to Marguerite Yourcenar and Jean Anouilh in
France, Antigone got here to include the courageous political resistance of the person.
By 1950, Hegel’s influential analyzing of the play as proposing rightful yet
irreconcilable claims appeared able to cave in: “as for Creon,” the Oxford
classicist Gilbert Murray instructed a BBC radio viewers after the conflict, “it used to be of
course preposterous of Hegel to indicate that that he used to be as a lot within the correct as
Antigone and that our sympathies will be calmly divided.” This partisan
reading of Antigonegrew in power within the post-war interval, inspiring feminist,
pacifist, and post-colonial engagements with the play.
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Additional resources for Antigone in Modernism: Classicism, Feminism and Theatres of Protest
M. Forster, began to experiment with the idea that perhaps only the genre of tragedy could offer the political and aesthetic resources to grapple with such a moment. Their work prefigured the resurgence of tragedy in the post-Second World War period, when a new generation of critics and writers, most prominently Arthur Miller and Raymond Williams, would advocate for tragedy’s potential as a form of the Left, and not a quietest apology for suffering or a glorification of the violence they presented.
She learns of “a shocking tragedy,” one that returns us to the scene of the cottage months earlier. Ethel reads that a tree had fallen on the cottage and “crushed to death the five occupants” (162) on the very night Lucas had wanted to 29 stay, news to which responds with only a “faint expression of trouble on his vacant face” (163). Ethel, meanwhile, feels that her decision not to stay at Colonus has been vindicated: Father, dear Father, I must say it: you wanted to stop there. All those people, those poor half-savage people, tried to keep you, and they’re dead.
It was hard, I know, my daughters; but a single word dissolves all these hardships. ’ Thus, clinging closely to each other, all of them sobbed” (ll. 1607-1620, Trans. Lloyd-Jones). 32 irreverent re-writing of Sophocles. Cocteau’s 1912 collection of poems, La Danse de Sophocle, was named for the legend which suggested that the young Sophocles danced naked round a monument after the Greek victory at Salamis. By emphasizing the homoerotic imagery of Sophocles’s juvenile romp, Cocteau made over Sophocles the moralist as a Decadent rent boy.