My nails are broken, my fingers are bleeding, my arms are covered with the welts left by the paws of your guards—but I am a queen!
Antigone makes this delirious proclamation upon reading Creon's weakness. In contrast to conventional readings of the Antigone legend, Anouilh's Antigone does not defend her act of rebellion in the name of filial, religious, or even moral integrity. This insistence becomes especially clear in the course of her confrontation with Creon. In asking why and in whose name Antigone has rebelled, Creon will progressively strip Antigone's act of its external motivations. Antigone will have no "just cause," no human reason for bringing herself to the point of death: her act is senseless and gratuitous. Instead, she acts in terms of her desire, a desire she clings to despite its madness. Ultimately Antigone's insistence on her desire removes her from the human. She becomes a veritably tabooed body and exalts herself in her abjection. As with Oedipus, her expulsion from the human community would make her tragically beautiful.