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ISBN: 9781552213681

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Antigone v. Creon

Sophocles's Antigone as a Courtroom Drama

Sophocles’s Antigone presents the audience with a serious political question — whether law is capable of resolving fundamental questions of right and wrong or whether it is merely a self-legitimizing discourse in which power is reduced to rhetoric and persuasion and nothing more. Sophocles poses that question and cleverly casts the audience in the role of a jury, asking them to pass judgment on a question that subversively threatens the claim that justice transcends language.

This groundbreaking new English translation offers an authoritative reading of the Greek play as a work of legal literature. It seeks to convey the language of law and the spirit of litigation in the play, which are critically important for understanding the conflict and the motivations of the key characters. It is accompanied by a series of essays serving to guide readers through the play’s legal issues.

The translation offered here — in accurate but idiomatic English free verse — provides a reliable and essential foundation for discussion of the legal themes of the play. This book will appeal to students, academics, lawyers, and anyone with an interest in law and literature, legal theory, or the study of legal discourses in a courtroom setting. 

Contributors

Roger S. Fisher

Roger S. Fisher teaches in the Department of Humanities at York University, Toronto, Ontario. He has a B.A. in classics from the University of Ottawa, an M.A. in classics from McMaster University, and a Ph.D. in ancient history from McMaster University (with study at the American Numismatic Society in New York and at the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Greece). He also has a J.D. from Osgoode Hall Law School and is a barrister and solicitor licensed by the Law Society of Upper Canada. He has published articles and taught courses that deal with law, literature, and culture from classical antiquity to the modern world. He is an honorary lifetime member of the Classical Association of Canada and a recipient of a teaching award in the Department of Humanities at York University.

Chapter Title Abstract Contributors Pages Year Price

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The translation seeks to convey the language of law and the spirit of litigation embedded in the play. 11 $1.10

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Discussion of how the play is about the law as advocacy rather than about law in the sense of formal validity. 20 $2.00

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Explanation of the legal connotations of the words, phrases, and metaphors used in the play. 22 $2.20

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Examination of the forensic question of who buried the body and how it was done. 20 $2.00

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Examination of the conflict in the play between the discourses of religious law and human law. 20 $2.00

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Critical analysis of Antigone’s closing argument. 29 $2.90

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Analysis of Creon’s discourse shift. 18 $1.80

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Discussion of the verdict, not as a jurisprudential conclusion about justice in the abstract sense, but rather as an ambiguous observation about what has transpired. 17 $1.70

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An English translation of the text of the play, plus notes. 130 $13.00

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Discussion of the overlap between the theatre and the courtroom in ancient Athens. 8 $0.80

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Discussion of the play’s representation of law and legal culture through visual imagery and symbolism. 12 $1.20

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Discussion of Antigone’s capacity under Athenian law in relation to her role as an advocate and litigant. 10 $1.00

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Discussion of the role of visual arts and visual imagery in law and legal theory. 11 $1.10

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Discussion of dramatic depictions of courtroom trials. 11 $1.10

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Glossary of legal, dramatic, historical, and philosophical terms and names used in the text. 7 $0.70

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List of court cases, books, and articles used as source material. 12 $1.20