Impossible Love

William Robert

in Trials

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print May 2009 | ISBN: 9780823231652
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823237203 | DOI:

Series: Perspectives in Continental Philosophy

Impossible Love

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Tragedy puts on trial limits and limitations, particularly those that demarcate the bounds of human life. For mortal humanity, this border demarcates life and death, the possibility and impossibility of embodied existence and experience. If tragedy is a question of pushing on and through ultimate limits, Antigone positions herself as a consummate responder, for Antigone is excessive. She embodies and performs the tragic movement of going too far, of crossing uncrossable borders—including the “ultimate border” demarcating life and death. Antigone continues to fascinate also because she remains relevant. Her relevance persists because she resists: she resists domination, incorporation, categorization, explanation. Her resistance finally disrupts the stability of boundaries delineating foundational oppositions in Occidental thought—such as man and woman, human and inhuman, culture and nature, life and death—which renders her impossible. Antigone is impossible by nature. This is because her nature compels her to love.

Keywords: tragedy; limitations; humanity; life; death; Antigone; nature; love

Chapter.  6062 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Religion

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