By Rush Rehm
Is "space" something, a box, an abstraction, a metaphor, or a social build? This a lot is bound: area is an element and parcel of the theater, of what it's and the way it really works. within the Play of area, famous classicist-director Rush Rehm deals a strikingly unique method of the spatial parameters of Greek tragedy as played within the open-air theater of Dionysus. Emphasizing the interaction among traditional position and fictional environment, among the realm seen to the viewers and that evoked through person tragedies, Rehm argues for an ecology of the traditional theater, person who "nests" fifth-century theatrical house inside different major social, political, and spiritual areas of Athens. Drawing at the paintings of James J. Gibson, Kurt Lewin, and Michel Foucault, Rehm crosses a number of disciplines--classics, theater stories, cognitive psychology, archaeology and architectural historical past, cultural stories, and function theory--to study the phenomenology of house and its changes within the performs of Aeschylus, Sophocles, and Euripides. His dialogue of Athenian theatrical and spatial perform demanding situations the modern view that area represents a "text" to be learn, or constitutes a domain of structural dualities (e.g., outside-inside, public-private, nature-culture). Chapters on particular tragedies discover the spatial dynamics of homecoming ("space for returns"); the antagonistic constraints of exile ("eremetic house" without basic community); the ability of our bodies in extremis to rework their theatrical atmosphere ("space and the body"); the portrayal of characters at the margin ("space and the other"); and the tragic interactions of house and temporality ("space, time, and memory"). An appendix surveys pre-Socratic suggestion on area and movement, similar principles of Plato and Aristotle, and, as pertinent, later perspectives on area constructed by way of Newton, Leibniz, Descartes, Kant, and Einstein. Eloquently written and with Greek texts deftly translated, this e-book yields wealthy new insights into our oldest surviving drama.
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Additional resources for The Play of Space: Spatial Transformation in Greek Tragedy
168 Theseus alludes later to the natural cycle of growth and harvest (205–7), echoing the traditional sentiment (Od. 109–14) that a land governed with justice brings forth abundant crops. However, the arrival and supplication of the mothers of the dead interrupt Aethra’s generative ritual. 170 In the process, we hear of various ways that humans bring forth and cut down, replacing the natural regenerative cycle with ongoing destruction. Theseus ridicules the Theban refusal to bury the dead out of fear that “those covered in the earth / will somehow dig up your land; or that the earth’s dark womb / will bear children, and with them vengeance” (544–46).
In a canceled entry Aethra stands at Demeter’s altar, surrounded by the women of the Chorus who plead for help in recovering the corpses of their unburied sons. The temple background, orchestra altar, and verbal description establish that we are at Eleusis, where Aethra has come to celebrate the Proerosia, an Athenian ritual for the fall plowing. The women “bind” Aethra with suppliant wands, where she remains “imprisoned” (31– 32) at the altar until “freed” (364), at which point the play cuts loose from Eleusis.
164 Moving between Olympian sky and a hero’s earth is the goddess Demeter, whose altar at Eleusis plays a prominent role early in the play. In the Hymn to 32 INTRODUCTION Demeter, she appears at Eleusis both in divine and human form, challenging Zeus and the male gods who allowed Hades to abduct her daughter. Using her power over the earth to withhold its vegetation, Demeter frees Persephone from the underworld and reverses (for two-thirds of the year) the virilocal pattern of her marriage to Hades.