A Touch of Piety

Michael Naas

in Styles of Piety

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780823225002
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823237081 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

A Touch of Piety

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This chapter is dedicated to and inspired by the writing of French historian Nicole Loraux. The chapter seeks to extend Loraux's comments on the Antigone to the other six Sophocles plays in order to come up with a comprehensive hypotheses concerning the role of the hand and the hand's touch in Sophoclean tragedy in general and the Antigone in particular. It is seen that the hand is a symbol of pure, feminine, noble action that surpasses heartfelt passion in terms of achieving piety, yet such action leaves hardly a trace of the ephemeral hand working behind the scenes. As such, the hands of the character of Antigone, which buried Antigone's slain brother when all other hands were frozen by fear of punishment, represent the ideal of piety better than any other symbol in Greek literature, thus maintaining the relevance of the Antigone to our times.

Keywords: Nicole Loraux; Antigone; Sophocles; Oedipus; Electra

Chapter.  9189 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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