Performance and Identity in the Classical World by Anne Duncan

By Anne Duncan

Actors within the classical international have been usually seen as frauds and impostors, in a position to intentionally fabricating their identities. Conversely, they have been occasionally seen as possessed through the characters that they performed, or as only taking part in themselves onstage. various resources demonstrate an uneasy fascination with actors and appearing, from the writings of elite intellectuals (philosophers, orators, biographers, historians) to the considerable theatrical anecdotes that may be learn as a physique of "popular functionality theory." This examine examines those assets, in addition to dramatic texts and addresses the difficulty of impersonation, from the overdue 5th century BCE to the early Roman Empire.

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Roberts (1900) 52–4 argues that Aristophanes shares with Plato and Aristotle this positive view of Agathon as personally charming and artistically talented and innovative, based on his readings of Aristophanes’ Thesmophoriazusai and Gerytades. 31 Performance and Identity in the Classical World Archelaus, both playwrights having left Athens at the end of the fifth century for the court of the king. Euripides became drunk and embraced and kissed Agathon, who was at that point 40 years old. 18 The point of the anecdote seems to be that Agathon is an eternal eromenos; he does not “grow out of ” this role even by middle age.

And the kinsman loves it in spite of himself. 43 The anxiety here is that the audience of a tragedy can become effeminate by watching (and hearing) it. 44 The kinsman is aroused by Agathon’s appearance – both his physical appearance and his dramatic entrance – and then backs off, tries to figure out what Agathon is, tries to read his accessories, clothes, and body for clues to his identity. But Agathon has a sword as well as a mirror, and he lacks both breasts and phallus; he resists classification.

See also Nehamas (1999) 304. 27 Performance and Identity in the Classical World But Agathon is as unforgettably embodied as Aristophanes. 6 He inspires desire both in his person and in his poetry. Agathon represents Tragedy taken to what Plato sees as its extreme form: astonishingly beautiful, but ambiguous and deceptive, it (he) seduces its viewers and leaves them with nothing substantive. It (he) is a tease. 7 We will see this association of tragedy with the feminine throughout the history of Greek and Roman drama.

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