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ZHANG Xingang | Family and Polis : Antigone’s Philia Politics

Release Date: 2017/8/9 15:00:16

 ZHANG Xingang | Family and Polis : Antigone’s Philia Politics

 

Sophocles’ Antigone is one of the greatest tragedies of ancient Greece. Interpretations from the perspectives of feminism, history, and other have been abundant. On the morning of August 8, ZHANG Xingang from Beijing University, put the drama in the perspective of ‘Philia’ politics, trying to explore the place of Philia in polis, the political community.

 ZHANG Xingang | Family and Polis : Antigone’s Philia Politics

 

Professor ZHANG first expounded on the concept of ‘Philia’, which is like relatives, in-laws, servants and friends combined, and it means affection strong or weak which can be felt for a sexual partner, a child, an old man, a friend or colleague. He then showed the audience a family tree to elucidate the relationship between the characters. The images of Antigone and Creon, the two protagonists, have also been analyzed through exhibiting the dialogue of the drama. According to Professor Zhang, the conflict of the drama is not simply that between family and polis, unwritten law and city law, men and women, but the dual misunderstanding of Antigone and Creon on family and polis. Creon considered polis to be paramount while Antigone put Philia above all else. Though Sophocles did not give a definite answer towards the problems arose from the family-polis conflict, the two other figures in the drama, Ismene and Haemon, might offer a clue, since they displayed the capacity of love, and are better representative of ‘Philia’ than Antigone.

ZHANG Xingang | Family and Polis : Antigone’s Philia Politics

ZHANG Xingang | Family and Polis : Antigone’s Philia Politics

 

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