• Under the Panoptic Gaze of the Trans-historical Polis: Sylvia Plath's Esther and Sophocles' Antigone Amidst Shifting Sands

    Michail Fountoulakis (see profile)
    Criticism, Gender identity in literature, Feminist theory, Psychology, Cross-cultural studies, Literature, Plath, Sylvia, Antigone (Mythological character), Foucault, Michel, 1926-1984, Gender trouble (Butler, Judith)
    Item Type:
    Conference paper
    Conf. Title:
    Hellenic Republic, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens PhD Colloquium
    Conf. Org.:
    Hellenic Republic, National & Kapodistrian University of Athens
    Conf. Loc.:
    English Faculty Library, Hall 929, 9th Floor, School of Philosophy, Panepistimioupoli Zografou
    Conf. Date:
    30 May 2017
    Antigone, ECHOES OF RESISTANCE, Femininity, Feminism and gender, literature and ideology, MICHAIL ST. FOUNTOULAKIS, Sylvia Plath, TIMELESS WOMAN, WHISPERS OF ASSIMILATION
    Permanent URL:
    This presentation explores Michel Foucault's "panoptic" concept to examine surveillance and control in society. Focusing on Sophocles' Antigone and Sylvia Plath's Esther's narratives, it highlights the interplay between individual resistance and societal norms. Foucault's theory reveals how observation influences behavior and internalizes norms. Judith Butler's performativity concept is used to analyze identity construction within societal scrutiny, emphasizing public performance's role in defining societal roles. Additionally, insights from Hannah Arendt on "speech and action" and Martin Heidegger's "site of adobe of human history" broaden the scope to historical and public interactions. These theories help understand how societal actions shape collective history beyond temporal limits. Antigone and Esther's stories exemplify the struggle against societal norms, illuminating the tension between personal autonomy and collective order. Their tales demonstrate the transformative power of sacrifice and resistance. The presentation concludes by reflecting on the relevance of these narratives in modern society, underscoring their importance in the ongoing evolution of human social dynamics and the pursuit of personal freedom within societal structures. This analysis synthesizes theories from Foucault, Butler, Arendt, and Heidegger, offering commentary on the perennial human quest for autonomy and identity amidst societal pressures.
    Last Updated:
    4 months ago


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