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Yet although historians know all this, most seem to studiously ignore it and strive for objectivity and truth nevertheless. The unknown, absent performance context presents persistent challenges to conclusions that necessarily rely on the known and present, extant text.

At the same time, other women may have been impressed with the play and its performance. Addressing such questions, scholars have relied for information on key literary sources, such as the dramatic corpus, Plato, Athenaeus, Pollux, and Plutarch, and iconographic sources such as the Pronomos Vase figures i, 2, 3 , the Basel Dancers figure 6 , and the Attic pelike from Cerveteri figure Overreading the Sources In their attempts to reconstruct fifth-century choral dance, scholars have relied on both literary and visual sources, but the limited supply of these sources has resulted in methodological problems.

While Lillian B. Although fourth-century vases from the Greek West i. A desire to see theatre in these images can result in distorted views of them and the creation of meaning where none exists. There are obvious dangers to this procedure. Thus, even if viewers accept that the Basel Dancers Vase represents a scene from an actual performance, it is difficult to use it to make assumptions about choral performance in general. Reading Dance in Two Dimensions Although the sources leave little certainty about the appearance of choral performance, in The Theatricality of Greek Tragedy Graham Ley has taken an innovative approach to the reconstruction of a chorus in terms of its music and choreography.

He also considers the vocal delivery of the actors and the role of anapestic meter also known as marching anapests to question whether such rhythms always express movement. Because dance is an embodied discourse, writing the history of physical performance presents a problem with which dance historians continue to struggle.

How can scholars notate kinetic movement and memory in words and diagrams? It is time for performance studies scholars to develop a medium which can more effectively communicate the full range of our ideas. Scholars have explained this change by linking theories regarding the causes and effects of the introduction of the New Music to theories about the decline of the chorus in the fourth century.

Many other possible factors could have also led to choral decline. Despite the uncertainty, historians often construct such cause and effect relationships in order to make sense of the past, for linking causes to effects helps to develop a narrative that organizes human time and events. A theory of historical discourse must address the question of the function of narra- tivity in the production of the historical text. For example, the narrative developed by scholars to explain the trend of the New Music begins with the near certain fact that a change in the style of music occurred.

Historians then may consider possible causes and effects of the advent of New Music, such as the possible effect of the diminution of the role of the chorus. In this way, historical understanding can reflect the narrative process. Their articles build on and against each other as the scholars attempt to move forward the discussion of the role of the chorus in tragedy. In this respect, the two disagree about the status of the tragic chorus. Second, the city funds the actors but not the chorus. Gould focuses on the fictional action, such as the characters and plot of the play, a characteristic method of an aesthetic approach; but Goldhill emphasizes the sociopolitical aspects of the real-life historical festival, a method typical of cultural historians.

This correspondence between the textual and iconographic representation of maenads puts the performance historian on relatively secure ground, for with corresponding descriptions from both text and iconography, the chances increase that the performance reflected a similar version of the costumes and gestures. Just as images of peaceful maenads, such as those on the so-called Lenaia Vases, 51 may reflect the ritual activity of real-life civic women, so the violent and fantastic representations of maenads figure 8 may derive from the mythical tradition. The assumption that the chorus was frenzied may have been influenced in part by E.

Bacchae poses the questions of who is sophron and what does their comportment schema and morphe look like, and through the presentation of this theme, 58 the text, despite its static nature, provides rich information about choral performance. At the end of this speech, the chorus then congratulates Teiresias for showing himself to be sophron Finally, Dionysus tells Cadmus and Agaue that if they had sophrosyne , they would have been fortunate In all cases, the acquisition or possession of sophrosyne is contingent upon the appropriate worship of Dionysus, for one consistent use of the term throughout all of Greek literature and especially in Bacchae is to honor the gods.

Through this primary meaning of sophrosyne, i. Sophrosyne is elsewhere associated in Greek literature with quiet, reserved hesychia behavior, 61 but in Bacchae, performing for Dionysus is sophron. Only through performing gestures that are not typically characterized as sophron can the chorus and the characters embody sophrosyne. Being sophron, the chorus honors the god, and honoring their god through ritual song and dance keeps them sophron. In this way, Bacchae challenges the typical association of sophrosyne with proper Greek women who stay in the house and associates the term with the dancing, foreign chorus and their god of liberation.

Dionysus has stung the women, Pentheus, and Agaue with his madness 32, , , and Cadmus is a suspicious convert, who waffles in worship , , is embarrassed by his garb even though he is bold enough to wear it , and begs Pentheus to at least pretend that Dionysus is a god, if for no other reason than to counter the rumors that his Aunt Semele had an illicit affair that produced a child out of wedlock The frenzied descriptions of the Theban maenads contrast with those of the sweet chorus, and the two maenadic behaviors correspond to the two sides of Dionysus, the sweet joy of his rightful worship and the stinging frenzy of his punishment for hybris.

Where one figure schema ends and the other begins relates to the theme of sophrosyne. Who has it? Through this contrast of appropriate versus inappropriate performance, the text points to a general idea of its choreography that should visually contrast the movement of the Theban characters from that of the Asian chorus. But what meaning did the performance of the chorus give to its words? Was its dance as sophron as the text suggests? The chorus, unlike Pentheus, Agaue, and Dionysus himself, is never violent. The women recognize, witness, and understand both their god and his violence, but they do not literally participate in it.

Instead, the chorus fears Pentheus. The women call Agaue wretched talaina and tlamon , and although these words may be ambiguous and ironic depending on the performance , the chorus undoubtedly later sympathizes with Cadmus They ritualize it through dance. In this case, choral song and dance, i. The text of Bacchae makes clear that to dance is sophron, if for no other reason than because it is part and parcel of worshipping Dionysus, for honoring gods is always sophron , 71 as Pentheus has unfortunately learned the hard way.

Therefore, while E. Vigorous dance movements demand an ease and flow and skill and control that would placate the force of the disruptive emotion expressed in the ode. While Helene P. Like Marylin B. Arthur, she argues that, while the earlier odes represent the peaceful nature of Dionysus, the later odes show the manipulation of the language of popular Greek morality, i.

In a play as unusual as Bacchae, anything could happen. In any case, the lacuna is a very literal hole in the historical record that complicates any and every view of the chorus in this important play, which is crucial for understanding both Athenian performance and the god who presides over the event.

Or would it instead have contrasted with the movement of Agaue, as in Bill T. Were the Asian maenads hysterical, sophron, vindictive, or did they show all of these characteristics? Many possibilities exist. In all of these cases, the ideas and assumptions of scholars and artists influence their interpretations of the Bacchae chorus. Influenced by my own viewings of modern Bacchae choruses, I have demonstrated the ways in which the textual details indicate a sophron choreography of the chorus.

However, the literal music and choreography of the bce chorus remain in part a mystery. Dionysus and the Cast of a Satyr Play side A. Attic red-figured volute krater attributed to the Pronomos Painter, ca. Naples, Museo Archeologico Nazionale, inv. All rights reserved. Photo by L. Dionysus with Satyrs and Maenads in Thiasos side B. Naples, Museo Archeologico Nazio- nale, inv. Bottom Theatre atThorikos. Attic red-figured column krater attributed to an unidentified Mannerist painter, ca.

Antikenmuseum Basel und Sammlung Ludwig, inv. Photo by Andreas F. Reproduced by kind permission of the Museum. Dancing Maenads. Attic red-figured stamnos attributed to the Dinos Painter, ca. Attic hydria attributed to the Painter of Louvre G , ca. Rome, Museo di Vilia Giulia, inv.

Apulian red- figured bell krater, name vase of the Choregos Painter, ca. Naples, Museo Archeo- logico Nazionale, inv. Paul Getty Museum, Attic red- figured pelike attributed to the Phiale Painter also known as the Boston Phiale Painter , ca. Attic red-figured bell krater, ca. Ferrara, Museo Archeo- logico Nazionale, inv. Attic red-figured chous, name vase of the Group of the Perseus Dance, ca.

Attic red-figured calyx crater, ca. Paul Getty Museum University of Heidelberg, Museum of Antiquities, inv. B Photo by Hubert Vogele. Bearded Dionysus Banqueting. Attic red-figured terracotta pelike attributed to the Somzee Painter, ca. Ward, , inv. For one, many components factor into the subject.

Is the anecdote a bona fide fifth-century description about acting, or is it only an Aristotelian fourth-century invention? What are the values, judgments, and motives behind this comment? Such questions indicate the inherent difficulty in studying performance style. When the sources indicate little certain information about fifth-century actors, their bodies, their training, and their movement, how can historians then begin to describe performance style?

In this chapter, I focus on the innovative ways in which scholars have managed such questions and some of the interpretive problems that arise in the process. I begin by addressing one point on which most scholars agree: that a transition in performance style took place beginning in the late fifth century bce. Modern Misnomers and Neat Dualisms Most scholars agree that a transition in style took place on the Attic stage beginning in the late fifth century bce, and many refer to the new style as realism.

As these examples illustrate, scholars have had to identify and describe changes in fifth-century performance style with few extant sources to aid them in understanding that style.


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These categories often form the basis of making neat dualisms that emerge in descriptions of one style versus another. These presumably objective categories of large historical classifications are then silently treated as aesthetic properties of each object. Style, designated by the art historian, is treated as if it were possessed by each object.

Moreover, terms such as realism, naturalism, epic, and method may be applied inappropriately in descriptions of Athenian performance because the terms evoke traditions of theatrical style with their own historicity. Csapo and Green: Approaches to Performance Style Two scholars who have made significant contributions to the development of such a vocabulary are Eric Csapo and Richard Green. Although Csapo begins his article by immediately forewarning readers about the lack of sources related to performance style, he quickly turns the limitations to his advantage.

In this way, Csapo attributes a social cause to the change in aesthetics. While Csapo focuses on the literary material, Green relies on material evidence. He then interprets these signifiers in relation to one another on vases from different time periods e.

Disclaimers One such issue is disclaimers. There are good reasons for this, the principal of which is the convention that vase-painters.

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Thus what is usually depicted on vases is not the process of performance but what the audience was persuaded to see. Such disclaimers allow scholars to argue their points even though they cannot always offer solid proof for them. In this way, Green and Csapo try to avoid the speciousness of possibility while attempting to make arguments based on probability. The remark could have been a fourth-century invention that has nothing to do with fifth-century practice, or Aristotle might have revised the anecdote to some extent or taken it out of context.

He, too, practically apologizes for one of his claims. Like Csapo, Green seems uncomfortable at times with his claims. It can at best achieve a very high degree of probability. Disclaimers help with these issues in the aim of persuasion but also serve as bold reminders of the problems with managing facts, truths, and objectivity.

Fortunately, for historians, their aim is to convince, not convict.

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One such strategy is posing general perceptions instead of specific truths. Whether Mynniskos really called Kallippides an ape is beyond proof. The circular strategy of his argument thus shifts from event to context to event. He uses the sources about the event to help with the construction of a context for the event.

The five vases may still reflect the conventions of painting rather than those of the theatre, or their painters may have simply all shared a similar artistic vocabulary in painting the subject. Green wants to indulge in the sources, but he is cautious. He knows that the vases cannot offer specific truths, so he focuses on general perceptions while hedging his claims. On the other hand, the parody must be based on an aspect of social reality in order for the comedy to work and produce its intended effect of laughter.

The stereotype embodied real social hostility and Sokrates seemed to fit it. Comedy sometimes provides the luxury of specific information about performance practices, such as through deic- tics and metatheatrical references to costumes, properties, and audience address, but one cannot interpret Aristophanic jokes about Euripides and his performance style too literally. Scholars still use these jokes to construct general perceptions about performance style, but they often do so with caution. The scene opens with a dazed Pentheus entering the stage dressed like these women. His double vision causes him to see two suns and Dionysus as a bull.

However, the reliability of this information is suspect for several reasons. He is attempting to disguise himself to spy on the offstage Theban maenads. Nevertheless, the metatheatrical references in the scene are still valuable, because, like an actor, Pentheus wants desperately to convince his audience i. Do I not have the stance of Ino or my mother Agaue? He is still conscious of his acting and impersonation and is not ritually immersed in a new identity. He is mad. He is mad enough to think he can carry mountains on his shoulders , but as confused as he is, Pentheus still realizes that he is pretending to be a maenad.

The role of Reviews as a source for academic studies of theatre productions

He is conscious of his craft, not ritually transformed in character. These allusions raise various questions. Bacchae s text employs several formal components that are characteristic of early fifth-century tragedy, so perhaps the chorus may have acted in a more traditional style as well. If so, Cadmus and Teiresias, in their scene, and Pentheus, in the dressing-up scene, could have performed in a new type of acting style that contrasted with the style of the chorus. For example, Paul Woodruff has argued that Euripides presented pro- democratic sentiments in the play.

If Foley is correct, then the text of Bacchae provokes discussion on not solely the merits of a democracy, as Woodruff suggests, but also its inherent dangers. But what about Bacchae s performance? If Euripidean performance style had political connotations inscribed in it, as Csapo suggests, how could this style have been reconciled with the content of Bacchae? Would the implementation of this style impose a political reading on the play?

Instead, the study of Athenian performance will continue to generate partial truths that perpetually generate new ones, stimulating a synergistic effect that occurs from identifying and developing historical interpretations, even those created from moth-eaten material. Because of this critical connection between costume and dress, I narrow my discussion in this chapter to a few topics and scholarly works that best illustrate the inherent problems with studying each of these two subjects. I begin with a discussion of a critical piece of visual evidence on costume: the so-called Pronomos Vase figures i, 2, and 3.

The limited accessibility of the vase, the reliance on reproduced illustrations of it, and the discrepancy between its visual appearance and the written descriptions of it are some of the issues that I cover. However, because the extant text is no simple synechdochic substitute for the bce staging in the theatre, many difficulties arise in trying to determine that information.

One key problem concerns the origins of the vase itself. In the case of the Pronomos Vase, historians of the ancient theatre do not overlook these issues. Their importance is clear, but the information cannot be determined with any certainty. Limitations in Access to Sources The lack of access to the vase also presents problems for research.

This reliance on reproduced illustrations is a problem common to all theatre historians, 22 and in many cases, unavoidable circumstances and limitations in finances affect research, and in turn influence scholarship and its quality. Firsthand observance is critical but unfortunately often impossible. She argues that Heracles on the Pronomos Vase is not wearing what scholars have tagged as kothornoi , a standardized tragic footwear of flat- soled boots.

However, the Pronomos Painter could have painted greaves even if Heracles wore boots on stage, and the footwear described in Orestes may not have been realistically portrayed. In a stylized theatre, especially, the audience may not have expected to see a literal golden sandal; instead, when they heard the word, they could have projected the image onto a uniform style of footwear that a tragic actor wore. Thus, although Wyles presents two strong points for the use of a range of shoes in tragedy and in the process explains the influence of preconceived ideas on assumptions about tragic footwear, the use of a conventional style of boot is still possible.

Looking at a vase is a most crucial step in the interpretive process. However, the lack of access to the Pronomos Vase, the reliance on written descriptions of its images, and the influence of previous scholarship can override the processes not only of seeing the image objectively but also of appreciating the distinction between the costumes depicted on the vases and the many possible types of costumes that could have potentially existed on the fifth-century stage. Comic Metaphor or Historical Reference? You say that of me, you scraper-together of idle chatter, you creator of beggars, you stitcher of rags?

She concludes with a political interpretation, namely that in Aristophanes: people are ragged because they abandon their authority. By his rags, Aristophanes pledges for a new conception of political life in which blindness, selfishness and surface appearance give place to real participation. Both arguments can be convincing, but both cannot always be correct. Mixing Ancient and Modern Styles: Film Theory and the Risk of Anachronization I have discussed the Pronomos Vase and Frogs, which are two critical fifth- century sources on costume, but no study of costume is complete without a consideration of dress.

Although he lacks an actual garment from the ancient world on which to base his theory, his knowledge of the literal material linen and wool from which Athenian clothes were made serves as evidence for his argument. Even before the days of market-driven excess, he suggests, an ideal of beauty persisted. The depiction of the figure contrasts with Ariadne both because the breasts are not accentuated and the skin does not appear white, a characteristic associated with female beauty.

Film conceals male nudity; Athenian vases glorify it, even though the Athenian stage did not. Our discourse always tends to slip away from our data towards the structures of consciousness with which we are trying to grasp them. Her analysis suggests that shoes play an important role in demarcating public versus private space and by extension male versus female territory. One vase which she discusses is a red-figure cup by Peithinos, dated to bce An- tikensammlung, Staatliche Museen zu Berlin-Preussischer Kulturbesitz F Interpreting the image on the vase, she constructs a narrative that incorporates her understanding of the passive role of Athenian women versus the active role of Athenian males in public life.

Examining such evidence closely, she argues that shoes are not mere accessories; they have serious social significance. They connect mobility through public and private space, which in Athens was a gender-specific process. Perhaps vase-painters depicted women without shoes for aesthetic reasons, 39 or perhaps the absence of shoes relates to customs of women from distinct social classes.

Describing Props versus Reanimating Them in Performance Before concluding my studies of costume, I want also to address the study of properties. Knights , which he argues is the term for properties maker even though, in the context of Knights , the term refers to the creation of masks. He opens the possibility for a discussion of the ways in which properties are activated to create theatrical and historical meaning. Indeed such an approach may be a rich subject for a future study in which the function of dramatic properties could be contextualized in relation to ancient Greek views about the agency of inanimate objects and animals which could be prosecuted and convicted for crimes according to law.

In lines , Dionysus is described as having long hair which is specified as not suitable for wrestling, a markedly masculine activity , fair skin, and a soft body. Frogs 46, cf. Cratinus fragment 38 , painting and sculpture where his earlier depictions as bearded begin to be replaced with images of a beardless youth in the late fifth century, and Homeric hymn 7 to Dionysus, a work which he suggests, on the one hand, could present an ephebic depiction by referring to the god as a youth but, on the other hand, voids an effeminate 92 CHAPTER FIVE www.

For example, although Frogs was performed in the same year as Bacchae, one cannot necessarily assume that a comic rendition of the god represents the general depiction of him at the time. While it could have done so to Pentheus, the audience may not have shared this view, particularly because they, unlike Pentheus, would have understood that the Priest is a god in disguise. In the first case, although wrestlers would presumably have cut their hair short so that an opponent could not grab it, long hair 65 could be a mark of an ephebe, but also of a pampered, aristocratic lifestyle.

It may refer to a particular status related to a special skill a charioteer or a kitharode or it may be worn by a male divinity. Such a view would stress male and female aspects alike; it would regard the god as embodying a dynamic process or as configuring in his person an alternate mode of reality.

Coupled with these claims, however, is a serious disclaimer. The dead are the objective figure of an exchange among the living. While the image of a disguised, beardless, effeminate Dionysus may continue to be convincing to many, the limited knowledge about the social significance of clothing and costuming in the late fifth century bce prevents a clear understanding of whether Dionysus appears to be feminine and is feminized or to whom he appears to look feminine, effeminate, or feminized. However, scholars must consider to what extent the movements and gestures indicated by Active characters on static images and in texts corresponded to the actions of fifth-century actors.

For example, vases depict movements that are static and frozen in time, but performers in a multidimensional theatre articulate movement into that space and across a period of time. Dramatic texts signal and describe gestures but give no indication of specific characteristics such as their size, speed, intensity, or fluidity. Llewellyn- Jones, however, combines the visual and the literary in his exploration of a comparative method with Japanese Kabuki.

Although their approaches are distinct, all of these scholars share the common task of deciphering the conventions of texts and iconography and translating into words the traces of gestures and movement inscribed in these artifacts.

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Stagecraft's rigorous scholarship demonstrates with painstaking detail 10 the importance of words in the reconstruction of not only gesticulation and the handling of stage properties but also movement and the lack of it as in tableaux. Both these alternatives are. Instead, character and performer collapse into a single identity. Taplin assumes that the words of characters in the text serve as a blueprint or diagram for the ways in which the performers moved, even though the historical performers of an ancient play may not have necessarily followed this plan.

This basic problem of character versus actor, text versus performance, underlies all studies of ancient Greek plays, for the communication codes of the text are not the same as the semiotic codes of a performance and the phenomenological codes of the actors. The older one addresses the tragic paradigm, Aegisthus as he seems to be in this case , with a confidence which is signified by his relaxed pose, weight on one leg, whereas his counterpart on the right of the scene is given a turn of the head and a balance on his feet that might enable him to move quickly.

The slave Pyrrhias standing on the up-turned basket is less confined in the way he carries himself, making a quasi-authoritative gesture with his right hand and indicating a certain force of character with his left. For one, his definition of sophrosyne, upon which his argument in part depends, seems narrow. As Helen North and Adrian Rademaker have demonstrated, the word carried a wide range of possible, often quite distinct meanings. In these tragedies, the characters Hippolytus and Pentheus both think they are sophron, but their denial of the gods Aphrodite and Dionysus respectively prevent them from possessing the quality.

Questions about representation, patronage, style, and anachronism all arise. How much can still images indicate the function of movement in everyday life or within a dynamic performance? How did the interests of patrons and their social status influence the subject and style of a vase?

In the task of interpretation, do certain gestures, such as the hiding of the left hand, 23 become overly significant to the critic analyzing them? We should expect that theatrical practice followed the depictions represented in literature and iconography, but expectations can be wrong. We cannot definitively determine the real behind the ideal, the historical gesture behind its representation. Cross-Cultural Analogies While Green concentrates on ancient Greek sources alone, Llewellyn-Jones has taken a cross-cultural comparative approach to gesture.

Greek Comedy, Satyrs, and Aristophanes: Crash Course Theater #4

He begins by magnifying the similarities between images of Athenian cross-dressed actors, such as the actor on the left in figure 14, 26 and representations of the cross-dressed onnagata. However, while trying to separate the Athenian-western connection, Llewellyn-Jones also admits that the Athenian-eastern connection does not exactly match well either. More significantly, Llewellyn-Jones does not have the opportunity in his short article to address the problems with using a late fourth-century vase to generalize about an unspecified period of fifth- century theatre, nor can he explain the critical distinctions between comic and tragic gestures, even though the bell krater depicts a comic actor not a tragic one and dates to ca.

Some larger questions about his approach arise as well. For example, might a comparison to Kabuki gestures, which developed under social and political circumstances radically different from those of ancient Athens, obscure the unique qualities of both distinctive traditions? Like gesture, we have images of masks but no actual artifacts. He shows that the mask has been thought to possess twentieth-century actors in various traditions, and he aims to explain fifth-century masks in terms of these ritual functions as opposed to purely aesthetic ones He then asks how a single mask could express so many emotions.

This cognitive studies approach thus raises awareness about the possible inadequacy of present terminology and aims to revise the tendency to describe the mask as neutral as opposed to multifaceted. In the process, they explain not only the mask but also its relationship to Athenian theatre and culture. However, the very practice-based insights that distinguish these studies also present interpretive problems. One is the issue of anachronism. Because the same aesthetic and practice may not have applied to the fifth-century Greeks, 36 a cross-cultural, cross-temporal study of masks could mislead scholars about the practices of ancient masking.

This point raises the question of the degree to which scholars in the humanities have the necessary access and training to stay abreast of the rapid developments in neuroscience and to interpret current debates correctly. Caution is prudent, but of course no methodology is without risk. His curl slips out from under his mitra His girdle comes loose , his pleats hang crooked, and his thyrsus simply eludes him These two breaks suggest pauses for gestural stage-play.

Because the study of one text alone can be unreliable, historians of theatrical gesture can also take an intertextual approach and compare the gestures in one play to those in another. This movement precedes his appeal and signifies his return to sanity. If he is thinking big, he could be gesturing big as well. A virtuosic actor could walk the eerie line between tragedy and comedy, playing the character at once comic and mad, but did he? Did the actor playing Pentheus in the dressing-up scene stand like Aegisthus on the Choregos Vase, tall in his elegant costume and boots, softening his posture by standing with his feet slightly apart and one knee slightly bent, relaxing his left shoulder, which the sharp descending line of his shoulder demonstrates?

How might the stance of the actor playing Pentheus have looked in relation to the stance of Dionysus? If disproportionate, the gestures still need not be comic, for in tragedy, disproportionate, awkward gestures could be a reference to comedy, but are frequently a characteristic of madness. Aphron is the antithesis of sophron.

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If Pentheus is mad and his gestures aphron, then they were likely performed in some way that was disproportionate. Although the textual examples of gestures and movements in the dressing-up scene may or may not have appeared in the bce performance, these scholars, like many, have assumed that these actions did in fact occur and have debated over the connotations of the gestures of Pentheus. Probably it reflects the importance of girdling in the mysteries.

Because critics began to question the formerly predominant view of the scene as comic, Bernd Seidensticker used this shift as an opportunity to revisit the issue. As Wiles has argued in his Tragedy in Athens , his interest rests in the dimension of space not time. Foley via Dodds and Winnington-Ingram 53 based this interpretation of a smiling mask upon lines and of the text. In , the first messenger refers to Dionysus as gelon from the verb to laugh , and in line , which occurs in the fourth stasimon between the dressing-up scene and the second messenger speech, the chorus calls for Bacchus, the wild beast with the gelon mask or face prosopon , to come and cast the net of death about Pentheus.

Wiles argues that these instances of gelon indicate laughing and should not be confused with smiling. But Wiles makes no reference to this archaic smile, even though the ancient didaska- los and audience would have clearly been familiar with it. Dionysus, disguised in mortal form as a priest of his cult, arrives in Thebes from the East with a devout band of his sincere female worshippers, maenads or bacchae. Cithaeron until he can persuade Thebes and especially Pentheus to respect him. Phillip B. See also Benjamin W. Millis and S. As I discuss more specifically in chapter 2, classicists such as Helene P.

See also Thomas Postlewait and Bruce A. McConachie, eds. Canning and Thomas Postlewait, eds. Carr, What Is History? Reynolds and Nigel G. Wilson, Scribes and Scholars. The work has been revised by John Gould and D. While this standard reference work needs updating, The Context of Ancient Drama still provides a valuable summary of the available sources. Other scholars have speculated that Euripides not only composed the play for a performance in Macedonia but also staged its first performance there, for Macedonia was a region with interest in Dionysian myth and cult.

Despite this uncertainty, Jennifer Wise has argued in Dionysus Writes that the innovations of writing and literacy significantly influenced the development of drama. Editions of Bacchae, such those of Robert Y. Tyrrell, E. Dodds, Jeanne Roux, and Richard Seaford, present a version of the ancient Greek text compiled from these sources as well as a line-by-line commentary, which often explains issues such as discrepancies among copies, uncertainties about the attribution of lines, and conjectures about lacunae in the text.

Because the Loeb Classical Library also includes an English translation next to the ancient languages, I have in most cases, whenever was possible, used the most recent editions of the Loebs in referencing various other ancient texts. For a discussion of this term, see Sauter, The Theatrical Event , especially pages Chapter 1. Theatrical Space 1. For further reading on the skene, see Peter D. Hourmouziades, Production and Imagination in Euripides. On whether the skene was painted, see A.

Many scholars have suggested a low stage made of wood. They base their arguments on practical reasons such as making the actors more conspicuous or marking off the actors from the chorus to creating better acoustics. See Wiles, Tragedy in Athens, , and Taplin, Stagecraft, , for an overview of scholarship on the subject. I will later provide a more detailed discussion of the orchestras shape, with further bibliographic references. On the bleacher seats, see Taplin, Stagecraft, ff.

The revised figure can be assessed in relation to current views on the total Athenian population, which Roselli Theater of the People, 13 cites at about , —, of which may have been slaves—and 40, metics resident aliens. In chapter 2 1 will further discuss audience size. Note that the stone theatre of today figure 4 is the result of rebuilding. Richard P. Martin, The Language of Heroes, 7. Wiles, Tragedy in Athens, While the ingenuity of the use of this photograph as evidence is persuasive in itself, Austrian classicists of that time would likely have been considerably larger, taller and wider, than your average fifth-century Athenian male whose armor looks sized to fit a 53" preadolescent boy rather than an average-sized Austrian.

Rehm, The Play of Space, Lefebvre, The Production of Space, See Lefebvre, Tragedy in Athens, ix. Ashby, Classical Greek Theatre, xiii. A deme was a subdivision of Attica. Demes took on greater significance after the reforms of Cleisthenes that participated in the establishment of the democracy. Ashby, Classical Greek Theatre, Compare Ashby, Classical Greek Theatre, Michel de Certeau, The Writing of History, Clifford, The Predicament of Culture, Athenaeus, The Learned Banqueters, v. Pickard-Cambridge, Dithyramb, Tragedy and Comedy, Ley, The Theatricality of Greek Tragedy, xiii. On dithyrambs, see also Naere- bout, Attractive Performances, For example, in Homer, there are dances to the double-pipe and lyre e.

Claude Calame in his study of choruses in archaic poetry, Choruses of Young Women in Ancient Greece, discusses such examples of circular dances forming around an altar or musician. While the meaning of tyrbasia is unknown, Pickard-Cambridge explains that it could possibly mean ithyphallic but more probably implies confusion, riot, revelry. Fearn, Bacchylides, However, in so doing, he suggests a direct correspondence between artistic representations and lived reality, but as I discuss further in chapter 3, the conventions of vase-paintings might distort the image of circular dancing depicted on vases.

A scale which Wiles may overestimate based on his suggestion of a 13, seat theatre, not the current estimate of 4, to 6, seats. See the prior note on demographics in this chapter and the discussion of audience size in chapter 2. While such later sources can often be helpful, they were nevertheless composed centuries later and may not accurately describe the fifth-century condition, so scholars, like Ashby here, are cautious in their application.

See also Rehm, The Play of Space, Rehm suggests a temporary stage altar here to engage dramatic focus. In order to illustrate this relationship, I will focus on the spatial practices of the complete play. While in some other chapters I instead focus on those factors that appear primarily in the dressing-up scene, in a discussion of theatrical space, the specificity provided by focusing on one scene would be counterproductive. See note 1 in this chapter for further discussion of the types of space and the ways in which they relate to a discussion of the Theatre of Dionysus.

See note 1 in this chapter for a discussion of terminology related to space. Wiles does not offer a detailed interpretation of Bacchae s spatial practices such as he does with the Oresteia. LEFT RIGHT sunrise sunset Argos Athens primitive civilized matriarchy male democracy chthonic goddesses Olympians blood bond citizenship The establishment of Athenian democracy seems an evolutionary process as natural as the movement of the sun. Euripides was of course also the didaskalos.

For this scheme, see the diagram in note 77 in this chapter. To clarify more specifically: Dionysus and his followers arrive from the East in their journey west left to right. On the other hand, Agaue and Cadmus live in the town but probably exit to the east right to left , because Cadmus and Agaue have been exiled and so likely exit in the opposite direction of the city, which is in the same direction as Cithaeron right.

Portrait diachronique de Ferdinand de Saussure, Elodie Paillard, Translation of two Epigrams Anth. Translation of 2 epigrams of the Palatine Anthology. In: A. Kolde, D. Nelis, P. This talk explores the question of theatrical performances in Greek language that took place in Roman Italy during the Republic and Early Empire. This paper presents a detailed examination of the guard in Sophocles' Antigone and shows that this character was staged in a way that related to the place and role of non-elite citizens in democratic Athens.

Conference 'Winckelmann's victims. The Classics: norms, exclusions, and prejudices', Ghent University more. Paper for the conference 'Winckelmann's victims. The Classics: norms, exclusions, and prejudices', Ghent University, September Elodie Paillard July 'Why in Greek? This paper shows that the staging of secondary characters in Sophocles' tragedies is closely related to the place of lower-status citizens in Athenian society.

Citizens who belonged to inferior socio-political groups could easily identify Citizens who belonged to inferior socio-political groups could easily identify with 'little characters' in the play. The way in which those figure were staged both reflected the contemporary reality and encouraged underprivileged citizens to take an active part in the political life of Athens.

Book Reviews. Elodie Paillard: Review of E. View on bmcr. Elodie Paillard: Review of L. Cecchet, Poverty in Athenian Public Discourse, more. Journal Name: Museum Helveticum. Elodie Paillard: Review of M. Elodie Paillard: Review of F. Remember me on this computer. Enter the email address you signed up with and we'll email you a reset link.

Need an account? In documenting examples of modern productions of Greek drama for the Research Project on The Reception of the Texts and Images of Ancient Greece in Late Twentieth-Century Drama and Poetry in English , the researchers are attempting to make real the conventional wisdom that performance is as important as text. In addition to company material in theatrical archives including acting scripts, prompt copies, stage managers' annotations, programmes, listings, photographs, videos the theatrical Review is an important source of information, not only about archived performances but crucially about those which are not otherwise well documented, perhaps because the company lacks its own archive.

In documenting performances it is particularly important to capture evidence about the work of smaller and 'ad hoc' companies and to research performances presented on tour or at festivals. A prime aim of this Research Project is to ensure that carefully assembled data is available for future cultural historians.


  • Classical Studies: Reference Works;
  • Greek Tragedy and the Contemporary Actor;
  • Bibliography!
  • Melinda Powers (Author of Athenian Tragedy in Performance)?

If a representative range of productions is not documented, it will be impossible for cultural historians to assess the full impact of Greek drama on late twentieth-century theatre and its audiences. In the body of this article, references to modern productions which have been documented by the Research Project are accompanied by their database reference number. As the Research Project develops, special studies will be made of the different types of primary source performances which are involved in documentation and critical analysis of modern performances.

Possibly the most problematic of the primary sources in the documentation of Performance is the Review. Much work in Reception Studies makes use of the Review as a major source and critical evaluation of its strengths and weaknesses as a source is perhaps overdue. Some attempt at typological analysis and evaluation is necessary in order to assess the impact and reliability of the Review. It functions not only as one type of primary source which gives an account of the performance with details of staging, acting style, design, music, choreography, properties and audience response, but also as a secondary critique of the performance.

In their critiques, reviewers argue from perspectives which may appear to be separate from the selective recording of detail or the narrative account of a particular performance but in fact these aspects are interwoven. A basic typological analysis of Reviews relevant to this Research Project reveals a considerable variety of examples in relation to: -.

In the discussion which follows, reference will be made to examples from local and regional newspapers, national 'broadsheet' newspapers, literary periodicals and academic journals. This is a significant contribution to Reception Studies. It presents a chronological performance history of Greek tragedy on the late nineteenth and twentieth-century American stage and argues from this that the history of Greek tragedy production corresponds to the social history of the nation and especially to periods of war and peace.

In her discussion of her use of sources Hartigan states that :. Clearly, Reviews should not be placed in the same category of source as Programme Notes or Press Releases, the first of which aims to inform the live audience and the second to inform the media. Both aim to promote the play. Hartigan's discussion recognises that Reviews yield information and that at least some of it claims to be factual. It is surely an oversimplification, however, to group all Reviews together — and restrictive to confine notice to those written by the drama critics of the major newspapers. Far worse, however, would be the temptation to take the Review as an authoritative source of factual information about either the ancient play or the modern production.

In addition, reviewers' statements are sometimes quoted in a kind of oratio obliqua which has the effect of giving them factual status and which certainly neglects to examine the nexus between the narrative of the performance and the critique. This sometimes makes it difficult to distinguish between the judgements of the author and those of the reviewer and masks the evaluation of the Review which the researcher must undertake before accepting it as a reliable narrative or descriptive source.

The narrative contained within Reviews is complex because the author's voice is frequently coloured by underlying perceptions and emotions outside the apparently objective description. The authorial voice needs as much attention from the reader and researcher as is the case with canonical literary works. The patterning of the relationship between descriptive narrative and perspective is analogous to that of 'focalisation' as identified by literary theorists, except that in the case of the Review focalisation is not bound by the insights of a figure within the script but draws more widely on critical and cultural viewpoints, which are part of a wider discourse one might even say, a larger stage.

This broader 'focalisation' is often connected with the reviewer's perceptions of the relationship between Greek drama and modern theatrical issues or with means of translating the theatrical experience into the imagination and understanding of those who have not actually witnessed it.

A related analogy may be with the Messenger Speech in Greek tragedy. The Messenger's verbal communication involves a narrative which is presented through the filter of its relationship to the imagery and structure of the world of the play. In the Review this aspect of narrative is maintained but is also extended and located in the cultural framework which the reader and reviewer purport to share. An approach which contrasts with Hartigan's assumptions about the status of the Review as a source, is shown in a detailed case study of the response of reviewers to new work which has been made in a South African context by Yvonne Banning.

She argues that since the Review is generated in the cultural context of the Reviewers themselves it is a mistake to construct a causal or sequential relationship between the production and reception of a performance or to suggest that the complex relationship between visual and auditory images and semiotic systems is subject to simple 'interpretation' or 'misinterpretation' by audiences. She demonstrates that the role of reviewers can play a crucial mediating function between theatrical intention and the cultural transformation which results not only from witnessing the play but from reading discussions of it.

She argues that reviewers sit at the intersection of routes coming from theatre aesthetics, economics, popular culture and "personal preference". Research on the cultural stance and politicised perspectives of Greek drama in South Africa during the height of the apartheid regime is being undertaken by P. Conradie, who has suggested that traditional expectations concerning staging and dramatic conventions sometimes impeded openness to new interpretations which were culturally and politically challenging even when the political importance of such challenges was acknowledged.

Furthermore, I suspect that reviewers expressions of aesthetic distaste, whether in the South African context or elsewhere, may function as a mark for ideological resistance to the implications of the production. Therefore I wish to argue that before it can be used as evidence, either simply in performance history or in the broader theoretical framework required by Reception Studies, the Review has to be subject to an evaluation which draws out its context and purpose, examines its language and style, and considers other types of evidence which can be used to check and complement it.

The range of cultural evidence provided by different kinds of Review can be demonstrated in examples from a variety of Reviews which the Research Project has used. Detailed comparison of Reviews reveals differences in critical standpoint, which also influence the selection of material in the Review. For all these reasons, in the Research Project we try where possible to reference a number of Reviews of different kinds for each production. This local paper Review operates on a number of levels and is actually quite an effective piece of writing in that it :. If the intention was to entertain and to inform a readership interested in local theatre but unaware of the conventions of Greek drama, then this Review probably achieved its object.

However, it tells us virtually nothing about the translation, set, acting styles or effects of theatre crafts. Nor does it tell us about the audience's response. This tells us more about cultural attitudes in West Sussex in , including the reviewer's ignorance of the conventions of Greek drama, than about either the play or the production.

Interestingly, Charles Hutchinson in the Yorkshire Evening Press 6 September described the production as 'sulphurous — a smouldering horror show' while Time Out Patrick Marmion thought it was 'largely naturalistic and well mannered — costumes not out of place in a Laura Ashley Catalogue'. I shall not pursue the implication that Laura Ashley styles may be considered sulphurous in Yorkshire but merely suggest that comparison of Reviews is a necessary control on the status of apparently 'factual' information in narrative accounts.