"Gender and Identity in Franz Grillparzer's Classical Plays explores language as a cultural document for an intervention into the ways that female alterity is framed in the ancient world. Grillparzer creates a new way of being that is primarily discursive in which the once unintelligible female figure may be known and heard"--
Are we free agents? This perennial question is addressed by tragedy when it dramatizes the struggle of individuals with supernatural forces, or maps the inner conflict of a mind divided against itself. The book discusses plays from classical Greece to neo-classical France.
That proud, impassioned soul, so ungovernable now that she has felt the sting of injustice’ ‘Medea’, in which a spurned woman takes revenge upon her lover by killing her children, is one of the most shocking and horrific of all the Greek tragedies. Dominating the play is Medea herself, a towering and powerful figure who demonstrates Euripides’ unusual willingness to give voice to a woman’s case. ‘Alcestis’, a tragicomedy, is based on a magical myth in which Death is overcome, and ‘The Children of Heracles’ examines the conflict between might and right, while ‘Hippolytus’ deals with self-destructive integrity and moral dilemmas. These plays show Euripides transforming the awesome figures of Greek mythology into recognizable, fallible human beings. John Davie’s accessible prose translation is accompanied by a general introduction and individual prefaces to each play. Previously published as Alcestis and Other Plays
Oaths were ubiquitous rituals in ancient Athenian legal, commercial, civic and international spheres. Their importance is reflected by the fact that much of surviving Greek drama features a formal oath sworn before the audience. This is the first comprehensive study of that phenomenon. The book explores how the oath can mark or structure a dramatic plot, at times compelling characters like Euripides' Hippolytus to act contrary to their best interests. It demonstrates how dramatic oaths resonate with oath rituals familiar to the Athenian audiences. Aristophanes' Lysistrata and her accomplices, for example, swear an oath that blends protocols of international treaties with priestesses' vows of sexual abstinence. By employing the principles of speech act theory, this book examines how the performative power of the dramatic oath can mirror the status quo, but also disturb categories of gender, social status and civic identity in ways that redistribute and confound social authority.
Classical drama on the modern stage as a cultural and political phenomenon is scholarly trailed since the 1950s and 60s and intensified in the last third of the twentieth century. The evidence is being extensively documented, pioneered by Walton (1987) and McDonald (1992) and subsequently developed by collaborative research projects which include published databases. It is clear from the work of these projects that performance of classical drama is a major feature in all types of theatre – avant-garde and experimental, student, international and fringe, epic and classical, commercial, popular and canonical. This means that it is closely intertwined with the politics of locale, environment and geography as well as of language, translation and culture. Each of the essays has a specialised contribution to make. However, the total impact of the whole section will be even greater than the sum of the parts because the authors not only intersect in their discussions of common concerns in modern performance of ancient drama but also provide case studies that will add to the knowledge base and critical acumen of everyone working in the field.
This historical and critical survey of German drama in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries provides an introduction to major authors and works from Lessing, through Goethe, Schiller and Weimar Classicism, to Kleist, Grillparzer and Hebbel. F.J. Lamport traces the rise and development in the German-speaking world of the last form of "classical" poetic drama to appear in European literature. This development is seen as reflecting the intellectual and political ferment both within Germany and throughout Europe.
Medea - simply to mention her name conjures up echoes and cross-connections from Antiquity to the present. The vengeful wife, the murderess of her own children, the frail, suicidal heroine, the archetypal Bad Mother, the smitten maiden, the barbarian, the sorceress, the abused victim, the case study for a pathology. For more than two thousand years, she has arrested the eye in paintings, reverberated in opera, called to us from the stage. She demands the most interdisciplinary of study, from ancient art to contemporary law and medicine; she is no more to be bound by any single field of study than by any single take on her character. The contributors to this wide-ranging volume are Brian Arkins, Angela J. Burns, Anthony Bushell, Richard Buxton, Peter A. Campbell, Margherita Carucci, Daniela Cavallaro, Robert Cowan, Hilary Emmett, Edith Hall, Laurence D. Hurst, Ekaterini Kepetzis, Ivar Kvistad, Catherine Leglu, Yixu Lue, Edward Phillips, Elizabeth Prettejohn, Paula Straile-Costa, John Thorburn, Isabelle Torrance, Terence Stephenson, and Amy Wygant.
This up-to-date edition makes Euripides' most famous and influential play accessible to students of Greek reading their first tragedy as well as to more advanced students. The introduction analyzes Medea as a revenge-plot, evaluates the strands of motivation that lead to her tragic insistence on killing her own children, and assesses the potential sympathy of a Greek audience for a character triply marked as other (barbarian, witch, woman). A unique feature of this book is the introduction to tragic language and style. The text, revised for this edition, is accompanied by an abbreviated critical apparatus. The commentary provides morphological and syntactic help for inexperienced students and more advanced observations on vocabulary, rhetoric, dramatic techniques, stage action, and details of interpretation, from the famous debate of Medea and Jason to the 'unmotivated' entrance of Aegeus and the controversial monologue of Medea.