Antiquity on stage. Ancient Greek drama in the theatre from early modernity to the present day

Flashar Helmut

Translation :
Ioanna Meitani

Yiorgos Diamantis




Year of publication:

Pages : 488

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Ancient Greek tragedy raised in its time, through the mirror of myth, the burning issues concerning man in society. It described conflictual situations, showed how people dealt with violence, ritual and worship; it depicted the fall of great figures and the fears of the people. All the problematic situations and conflicts dealt with in ancient Greek tragedy remain unresolved and are issues of our own time, which, in the context of a democratic society with international expansion (despite all the setbacks), are openly discussed because they are topical. In this respect, ancient tragedy acts as a great resonator, and the theatre, by assimilating it, makes the past part of the present. Tragedy makes the ineffable explicit, and from this the theatre gains today, as it did then, an unsettling power, which forces us to reflect and which, through the fascination that ancient myths, foreign to us, exert, causes not only emotional shock but also the ‘pleasure one derives from tragic subjects’. A society without theatre would lose a ‘public space for experimentation for a fragile settlement of conflicts’ and with it its emotional equilibrium. We need ancient Greek tragedy.