By Peter J. Ahrensdorf
During this e-book, Peter Ahrensdorf examines Sophocles' strong research of a imperative query of political philosophy and a perennial query of political existence: should still voters and leaders govern political society via the sunshine of unaided human cause or spiritual religion? via a clean exam of Sophocles' undying masterpieces - Oedipus the Tyrant, Oedipus at Colonus, and Antigone - Ahrensdorf deals a sustained problem to the existing view, championed by means of Nietzsche in his assault on Socratic rationalism, that Sophocles is an opponent of rationalism. Ahrensdorf argues that Sophocles is a surely philosophical philosopher and a rationalist, albeit person who advocates a wary political rationalism. Such rationalism constitutes a center approach among an excessive political rationalism that dismisses faith - exemplified in Oedipus the Tyrant - and a piety that rejects cause - exemplified by means of Oedipus at Colonus. Ahrensdorf concludes with an incisive research of Nietzsche, Socrates, and Aristotle on tragedy and philosophy. He argues, opposed to Nietzsche, that the rationalism of Socrates and Aristotle encompasses a profound wisdom of the tragic measurement of human lifestyles and for that reason resembles in basic methods the somber and humane rationalism of Sophocles.
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Additional resources for Greek Tragedy and Political Philosophy: Rationalism and Religion in Sophocles' Theban Plays
Creon is punished for having violated the divine legislations and, although Antigone dies in her try and uphold that legislation, her dying is avenged. Upon nearer exam, despite the fact that, the play finds that either Creon and Antigone are destroyed by way of their piety. Creon fails to rescue Antigone simply because he locations extra significance on burying the useless than on saving the dwelling. Antigone kills herself ahead of she is rescued simply because she locations inadequate belief within the human love of Haemon. a undeniable misanthropy implicit in piety – a undeniable diminution of people within the mild of the superhuman gods – deprives every one of them of a human happiness nonetheless inside their seize. but, of the 2, it is just Antigone who actually involves combat with the query of piety and justice throughout the play. via the top of the play, she starts off not less than to stand the questions of even if her activities have been simply, pious, and clever, no matter if justice really capacity devotion to the relations, no matter if she was once correct to sacrifice earthly happiness for the sake of happiness in an afterlife, and if it is clever or maybe attainable to 3 The Pious Heroism of Antigone 149 reside basically for others. Creon by no means exposes himself to such wondering. he's both adamantly convinced that justice capacity devotion to town or adamantly convinced that justice ability devotion to the kinfolk. the instant earlier than he starts to yield to Haemon, Creon threatens to execute his fiancee earlier than his eyes (758–61, 770–80). the instant prior to he thoroughly yields to Teiresias, he bitterly denounces him as one that “loves to do injustice” (1059; see 1033–63, 1091– 1114). Creon lacks the power to stand uncertainty. simply as he believes that “there isn't any larger evil than anarchy” (672) within the urban or within the relatives, so he believes that there's no better evil than anarchy inside one’s soul. however it is simply if one is keen to adventure such anarchy in one’s soul, to ask yourself which ideals are precise and accordingly actually need to rule one’s soul and one’s lifestyles, that one has any wish of researching the reality and of residing a existence in response to the reality. Antigone demonstrates her superiority to Creon via bold to reveal herself to the anarchic event of ask yourself. instead of easily clinging to, or just jettisoning, her so much loved convictions approximately justice and concerning the hazard of happiness, as Creon does, she really questions them. In her willingness to ask yourself approximately justice and piety, Antigone proves to be more suitable, extra brave, extra “manly,” than Creon. 50 50 Knox continues that Antigone “goes to her dying unrepentant,” that “she by no means retreats,” or even that her suicide “too is defiant,” because it triggers the suicides of Haemon and Eurydice which strike Creon down (1964, sixty two, sixty four, sixty seven, 26). Knox’s declare that Antigone killed herself with the goal of punishing Creon throughout the deaths of his completely blameless son and spouse is bewildering, given his statement that Antigone’s private cause isn't hatred yet love (116). yet, as a minimum, Knox by no means provides any textual proof for this declare approximately why she killed herself.