Abstract

Maternity is a ghastly and frightening proposition in Sophocles’s Antigone. This paper probes this startling motif, which unravels the “unhappy girl, child” of Oedipus through the psychoanalytic framework of Julia Kristeva’s theories of the symbolic, the semiotic, and the chora. The significance of a Kristevan reading of Antigone is twofold: Kristeva’s theory of the relationship between maternity and melancholia solves the mystery of Antigone’s irreparable sadness and unflinching affiliation with the dead. Second, Kristeva’s notions of the dual modalities of discourse, the symbolic and the semiotic, and the importance of the chora, focus on evaluating the ominous consequences of the subjugation and destruction of the maternal body in the tragedy.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 293-313
Launched on MUSE
2015-02-19
Open Access
No
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