Title: Antigone: Mimetic Violence, Tragedy, and Ethics
Authors: Van Coillie, Geert # ×
Issue Date: Mar-2008
Publisher: Catholic University of Leuven
Series Title: Ethical Perspectives: Journal of the European Ethics Network vol:15 issue:1 pages:81-102
Abstract: René Girard’s mimetic theory allows for an anthropological recontextualization of ancient Greek literature against the backdrop of biblical texts. The story (epic), dialogue (drama; rhetoric) and reflection (lyric; philosophy) are the basic forms of mythos and logos, in which man translates and gives shape to his violent origin. Greek drama, which represents the ‘poli-tical’ crisis of human existence, offers a partial deconstruction of the scapegoat mechanism as the hidden foundation of society. On the tragic stage all protagonists are divided and united in a non-decidable dispute – a mimetic-sacrificial non-difference which is decided at the expense of the hero/scapegoat who eventually ‘makes a difference.’ Sophocles’ Antigone resists the mythical lie of a decisive difference between the mimetic doubles and enemy brothers Eteocles and Polynices. As a prefiguration of Christ (praefiguratio Christi), the tragic heroine Antigone reveals the collective hatred and the unanimous violence against the scapegoat as the bloody foundation of human civilization. Antigone’s ethical ‘an-archy’ and ‘non-in-difference’ remains a blind spot in Heidegger’s and Lacan’s philosophical and psychoanalytical interpretations.
ISSN: 1370-0049
VABB publication type: VABB-1
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Teacher Training, Institute of Philosophy
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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