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The Reception of Sophocles' Antigone by Jacques Lacan: the Greek tragedy and the subject's ethics

Grant number: 21/03289-8
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Scientific Initiation
Effective date (Start): September 01, 2021
Effective date (End): August 31, 2022
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Literature - Classical Literatures
Principal researcher:Daniel Rossi Nunes Lopes
Grantee:Luciane Delurdes Streit
Home Institution: Faculdade de Filosofia, Letras e Ciências Humanas (FFLCH). Universidade de São Paulo (USP). São Paulo , SP, Brazil

Abstract

Jacques Lacan in his Seminar 7 proposes to discuss the ethics of psychoanalysis, taking as a paradigm of his ethics not a philosophical reference, but the Antigone of Sophocles . Such an approach raises a discussion about the reasons why Lacan has chosen tragedy and not philosophy as a reference for his ethics. The purpose of our research intends to explore this theme from the standpoint of the Classical Reception Studies, as supported, for instance, by Martindale and Hardwick & Stay, since this theory allows us to analyze the text in relation to its socio-cultural and historical contexts, considering its previous readings. By studying Hellenistic interpreters who also pursue a psychoanalytical reading of the Antigone, we intend to grasp Lacan's interpretation. One of the features usually pointed out in the text of Sofocles is the constant ambiguity and play of opposites, which allow multiple and complex interpretations. The Antigone has already served as a reference to debate on law and justice, on the conflict between religion and politics, on the role of women in society and politics, and on the human condition, among others. In this multiplicity of discussions, we aim to understand how Lacan appropriates the Antigone, by linking it to ethical questions concerning psychoanalysis, insofar as according to him both tragedy and psychoanalysis focus on intractable problems of human desire. Therefore, we aim to present a monograph that will allow us to study Lacan's interpretation of Antigone by means of the Classical Reception Studies developing a comparative analysis of the peculiarities of his interpretation in relation to some standard readings of the play advanced by renown Hellenists.

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