Yes, I Antigone, the blind beggar a king, I find myself rebellious to my country
finally rebel, to its laws masculine, its wars imbeciles,
at his proud cult of death. (Henry Bauchau, Antigone)
Since Sophocles consecrated a memorable drama to the story of the heroine who, faithful to àgraphos nomos (meaning “the unwritten law“, from which it draws its nourishment piety for relatives), do not hesitate to sacrifice herself to honor the relics of his brother (thus breaking the prohibition of nomos graptòs, the “written law”, it ruthless with the enemies of the country), writers, artists, musicians, philosophers have not stopped to admire and to reinterpret what appeared to Hegel “the sublime tragedy par excellence and, from every point of view, the most perfect work of art that the human spirit has ever produced“. The events take place in Thebes, where the tyrant Creon gave orders not to bury Polynices, who died fighting against the city. At his provision will oppose Antigone that will give burial to his brother in compliance with the laws of divine mercy. Antigone will pay off with the death of his opposition to the tyrant. His courage, his “appeal to heaven,” as Locke later say, do not lead to political outcomes because human events are interpreted pessimistically within a historical vision devoid of meaning and some aims. Antigone dies for opposing to the laws of men, while the tyrant fall victim to calamities to have angered the gods with his evil action. At the end of the play the same Creon, executioner and victim at the same time, he will face the judgment of posterity, the “inquisitive eyes of stone and witnesses. of closed mouths where silence is maturing a judgment.” Accept the accusation and punishment but strongly defends the reason of State as evidence of lawful innocence, and the established order as a “clue” of a collective responsibility.
Of which assumes the painful representation.
An expression of the Epistle to the Hebrews and a quotation from Luciano’s Dialogue of the Dead combine an artifact and slightly ungrammatical word, which a possible translation would make “brothers in death and companions in burial.” The life in death. A contradiction between different realities. A right that Antigone assumes and defends; that makes her an outlaw, a being out of the world, a dangerous girl in antithesis with the selective authority represented by the state-Creon. Which reacts by opposing the law to individual action. And to the same adds the punishment, when it does not coincide with the rational norm. The ethical substance that in Antigone expresses itself in an “empty formality” clashes with the end realized in the kingdom, with the duty of adherence to a political program, becomes an act of civil disobedience. To the existing reality, to the common logic.
But also the means that reconnects the essence of the divine law to the underworld.