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“Take Me Out of Your Sight. Treat Me as Nothing”: The Interplay between Visuality and Language in Seamus Heaney’s The Burial at Thebes (2004)

  • 인문논총
  • 2018, 46(), pp.117-131
  • DOI : 10.33638/JHS.46.6
  • Publisher : Institute for Human studies, Kyungnam University
  • Research Area : Humanities > Other Humanities
  • Received : April 30, 2018
  • Accepted : June 10, 2018
  • Published : June 30, 2018

Chan Hee Hwang 1

1Texas A & M Univ.

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This essay examines how Seamus Heaney’s The Burial at Thebes (2004), a version of Sophocles’ Antigone, reveals the mechanism that makes Antigone “nobody” and, in turn, triggers the fatal implosion of the established system of society and symbol. Foregrounding the significance of “nobody” who exists in the chasm between verbal representation and visual entity, Heaney questions the system that justifies the transformation of Antigone into “nobody” and reveals Creon as a manipulator of the system. Inspired by Jacques Lacan’s investigation of the gaze and language, this essay shows how Creon as a ruler attempts to define the system of visibility and language for his own purpose and interest, and how the oppressed Antigone takes vengeance using her erased and silenced existence.

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