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Binding ViolenceLiterary Visions of Political Origins$
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Moira Fradinger

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780804763301

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804763301.001.0001

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Creon's Edict: The Barbarians at Home

Creon's Edict: The Barbarians at Home

Chapter:
(p.54) Creon's Edict: The Barbarians at Home
Source:
Binding Violence
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804763301.003.0004

This chapter argues that Creon's edict constructs a new (fantasy of) unity against the city's postwar anxiety of dissolution around a new figure of the enemy: this is neither the external Argive enemy, nor the traitor cast out of Attica, nor the amnestied enemy of democracy. It is a permanently lurking enemy that redraws at once the exterior and interior of the city. The audience hears two versions of the edict, which assign different meanings to the corpses of the Labdacide brothers and their relation to the city. The edict shows how both Antigone and Creon speak simultaneously to the singularity of the corpses and the universality of (different) laws—treason and burial. Both are concerned with the inclusion of the dead brothers in the city; only Creon has placed one brother at the city's limits, neither inside nor outside.

Keywords:   unity, postwar anxiety, dissolution, enemy, treason, burial

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