Hegel’s Antigone

The Owl of Minerva 17 (2):131-152 (1986)
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Hegel's interpretation of Sophocles' play Antigone is central to an understanding of woman's role in the Hegelian system. Hegel is fascinated by this play and uses it in both the Phenomenology and the Philosophy of Right to demonstrate that familial ethical life is woman's unique responsibility. Antigone is revealed as the paradigmatic figure of womanhood and family life in both the ancient and modern worlds, although there are fundamental differences between these two worlds for Hegel. Through an immanent critique of both the Phenomenology and the Philosophy of Right which focuses on the role of woman as presented by Hegel in the figure of Antigone, my analysis reveals the limitations of Hegel’s dialectical theory.
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