By Melinda Powers
A case research of Euripides’s Bacchae, which gives additional information approximately functionality than the other extant tragedy, demonstrates attainable tools for reconstructing the play’s historic functionality and in addition the inevitable demanding situations inherent in that activity, from the constrained resources and the trouble of examining visible fabric, to the hazards of conflating actor with personality and extrapolating backward from modern theatrical experience.
As an inquiry into the research of theatre and function, an creation to historic writing, a reference for extra studying, and a rationalization of numerous normal misconceptions approximately Athenian tragedy and its functionality, this historiographical research could be precious to experts, practitioners, and scholars alike.
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Additional resources for Athenian Tragedy in Performance: A Guide to Contemporary Studies and Historical Debates
DI: Your belt is loose and the pleats of your robe are not in order where they hang below the ankles. PE: I think so too, at least by the right foot. But on this side the robe is straight at the tendon. DI: Certainly you will consider me as first of your friends, when you see the maenads unexpectedly self-controlled [sōphrones]. PE: Shall I take the thyrsos in my right hand or in this one so as to seem more like a bacchant? DI: You must raise it in your right hand, in time with your right foot.
Richard Seaford’s translation reads as follows: DI: (emerging from the house) You, who are eager to see what you should not see, and strive for what should not be striven for, Pentheus I mean, come out in front of the house, be seen by me, wearing the equipment of a woman, a maenad, a bacchant, and a spy on your mother and on her band. (P. ) You look just like one of Kadmos’ daughters. PE: (probably looking at a reflecting surface) And indeed I seem to myself to see two suns, and a double Thebes and seven-mouthed fortress; and you seem to be leading, ahead of me, as a bull, and horns seem 38 | C h a p t e r t wo to be on your head.
2 Left with many questions as a result of these absences, scholars have contended over subjects from the size of the audience3 to the exclusion of women from the event. Debates continue over how to read the sources, what to do when they are in disagreement, and how to judge which are reliable. In some studies, specific topics, such as judging the contests,4 or specific authors, such as Plato and his characterization of the audience,5 have served as a subject. 11 Still others focus on the audience’s identity.