In a generation like ours, which has forgotten the natural law and has knelt to Leviathan, Antigone takes on a meaning little understood during the nineteenth century. . . . There exist in human nature, common to the Greeks of the fifth century and to us, certain constant qualities. Of these qualities, among the rising talents of every generation, are a longing for poetic imagery; a dim participating in the tragic view of life; and an aspiration after ethical insights. Antigone is a great drama because it is humane in the highest sense: that is, Antigone exemplifies the educational discipline called humanitas, the training of the ethical faculty through the understanding of powerful literature. Despite all the muddled positivism and pragmatism to which college students have been subjected since the age of five or six years, truth will demand a hearing now and again. The ancient hungers of the imagination are hard to deny. [Russell Kirk, Decadence and Renewal (1978), 36-37]
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