Journal article Open Access
Antigone as homo sacer. Pre-political violence in the world without praxis
This paper is a proposition of a new intepretation of Sophokles’ ‘Antigone’. Author uses a specific term homo sacer to analyze the reality of ancien polis described in the tragedy. Both Giorgio Agamben and Judith Butler made use of the concept of homo sacer to read ‘Antigone’ but they gave it a modern approach. Agamben treats the homo sacer as a person who is deprived of the laws and who, as a result, is banished from a community. He sees the homo sacer in modern refugees. The author of this chapter acknowledges Butler’s and Agamben’s approach but also reaches to the originis of the term. The idea of a sacred man derrives from pre-Roman law, which is described as a pre-politic law of violence. The author analyzes the situation of Antigone who becomes the homo sacer after being cursed by Creon. Antigone takes an action (praxis) while public speaking and therefore she steals the law which was originally available to polis citizens – men. She then becomes a woman-citizen, somone who has no place in polis. Antigone’s status is to be ‘in-between’, she is no woman, nor man. There is no place for her in polis. That is why she must be cursed and called the homo sacer. The new identity is given to her by the law. The aim of the chapter is to prove that the Antigone’s fate of being the homo sacer shows the moment of degeneration of the Greek polis. It shows what happens if the pre-politic violence becomes a part of the community.