Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation
Decoding International LawSemiotics and the Humanities$
Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content.

Susan Tiefenbrun

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780195385779

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195385779.001.0001

Show Summary Details
Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 27 October 2021

On civil disobedience, jurisprudence, feminism, and the law in the antigones of sophocles and anouilh

On civil disobedience, jurisprudence, feminism, and the law in the antigones of sophocles and anouilh

Decoding International Law

Susan Tiefenbrun

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the connection between civil disobedience, jurisprudence, and feminism in ancient and modern comparative legal systems as viewed from a postmodernist perspective by comparing Sophocles' Antigone, written in Athens in 5th century B.C., and Jean Anouilh's Antigone, written and performed in France in 1944 during the tyranny of the German Occupation. In Sophocles' Antigone, civil disobedience is represented by the tension between two different characters, Antigone and Creon. The most dramatic form of tension in the play is Antigone's act of civil disobedience that effectively causes legal reform in Thebes. Despite the obvious similarities between Antigone and Creon, Sophocles stresses the differences between their opposing jurisprudential positions on natural law and legal positivism. Sophocles espouses the argument that illegal protest can accomplish legal reform, but Anouilh does not appear to agree. In Sophocles' Antigone, the mind-set of the ruler and the hegemonic political system that produced an unjust law are ultimately reformed by virtue of the insight that tragedy naturally produces. Creon is eventually enlightened by Antigone's nonviolent protest, and his new understanding has the positive effect of suggesting a move away from a hegemonic to a pluralistic conception of the law. In contrast to the Sophoclean tragedy, Anouilh's melodrama does not propose civil disobedience as an effective force for legal or political reform. The two plays are in fact very different in form and substance. The chapter tries to tease out the underlying causes for Anouilh's radical change from his Sophoclean source.

Keywords:   Antigone, Sophocles, Jean Anouilh, civil disobedience, jurisprudence, feminism

Oxford Scholarship Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs , and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .