Antigone, today: Dignity and human rights in contemporary spaces
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The tragedy of Antigone revolves around the theme of conflict. Both the version written by Sophocles and the one by Jean Anouilh are mainly focused on conflicts. The conflict between Antigone and Creon is real and symbolic at the same time. It is the conflict between a woman’s body and the law, between women’s and men’s conditions, between two anthropologies. It is also a conflict between two opposite ethical perspectives, and two opposite political visions. It is the conflict between the rule of individuals and the rule of laws, between non-violence and violence, social responsibility and individual egoism, and self-identification and identity. The conflict between Antigone and Creon is the heterogeneous sum of many conflicts. If we try to fit all conflicts within a broader framework, we could say that Antigone’s choice of disobedience raises the high-level conflict between human dignity and the law. This conflict takes place within the positive law and cannot exist outside it. Human dignity cannot elude the law, since it is rooted within the legal system. It does not, however, originate from it, but its finalisation is actually in the law; where gaps and fallacies are revealed. Its strength lies in the lack of a definition. Human dignity helps the law to regenerate and not become locked in a formal stronghold.