Location of Repository

Classical Greek tragedy and the city culture of Athens

By Lazaretta Butzbach


As argued, the connection between Athenian BC society and tragedy - an area of research far from exhausted - should be examined on the basis of an anthropological/cultural, and rather comparatively oriented perspective, rather than a purely historical or literary one. A further defence holds that such an approach explores in a fresh way the connection between the two which is based on a model of self, on the one hand, and Sophocles' and Euripides' characters on the other - both proposed to consist of the same culturally framed, yet diversely expressed components which define an individual actor/self as would be portrayed by anthropological studies. Because of the proposed nexus of variously expressed components, the staged character is seen as an agent who exposes the complexity and ambiguity of one's own self of whom the individual agent was unaware of possessing. The above argument, approached mainly through primary sources, will be defended as follows. After defining in the introduction concepts such as `self' and `performance', the discussion on the components of self and character begins by exploring their background - the ideology and culture of Athens. As argued, because of particular factors linked to economic and military power, Athens is contrasted with other Greek cities, and at the same time, its performance culture becomes the topos of the performing self. The second chapter defends the concepts of self and dramatic character, as well as the elements associating them which are cultural projections of the society, but also are associated with the notion of `self as presented in recent anthropological discussions of human agency. Lastly, the third chapter argues on the actualisation of the self's model on stage; after the comparative analysis of the characters' actions in three plays by Sophocles, and three by Euripides, the conclusion reached is that the proposed model of self, cultural, but also self-reliant, is an entity which is utilised as a model agent of staged characters

Topics: PA
OAI identifier: oai:wrap.warwick.ac.uk:1167

Suggested articles


To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.