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Tragedy at home and homeless: between politics and aesthetics

Goff, B. ORCID: (2020) Tragedy at home and homeless: between politics and aesthetics. In: Il teatro della 'polis' tra intrattenimento e politica. Nuove interpretazioni del dramma greco antico - Atti del convegno internazionale, Pisa 2019. Frammenti sulla Scena, 1 (2). Universita degli Studi di Torino, pp. 1-24. (Volume speciale - Il teatro della 'polis' tra intrattenimento e politica - Atti del convegno internazionale (Pisa 2019))

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To link to this item DOI: 10.13135/2612-3908/5707


For this paper I shall look at ways of coordinating politics and entertainment, or in slightly other terms aesthetics and politics, as they have been used to construct ancient tragedy as a means to the good society. In my title this aspect of tragedy is identified as “home”, to indicate tragedy’s preoccupation with community. This is a note repeatedly struck in discourse about tragedy, both by the earliest commentators and by those negotiating the development of the nation-state, and of political reform, in the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries. This essay thus first considers some of the different ways in which tragedy has been associated with the goal of the good community, by the theoretical works of Plato, Aristotle, Schlegel, Williams and Eagleton, as well as by harnessing productions and performances to the political effort of nation-building. The essay will then contrastingly explore tragedy’s “homelessness”, the ways in which it uproots its characters and sets them in restless motion. These latter reflections are prompted by recent receptions of tragedy that have responded to the global migrant crisis, and that are thus in dialogue with earlier critical understandings of tragedy which were more likely to foreground a sense of civic identity associated with the polis. I thus consider productions of Aeschylus’ Suppliant Women in Syracuse and Edinburgh, and the new ancient trilogy, acted by Syrian women refugees, which has unfolded since 2013, in the Middle East and Europe, under the creative guidance of Omar Abu Saada and Mohammad Al Attar. The new focus is born of and gives voice to new global realities.

Item Type:Book or Report Section
Divisions:Arts, Humanities and Social Science > Language Text and Power
Arts, Humanities and Social Science > School of Humanities > Classics
ID Code:97541
Uncontrolled Keywords:tragedy, exile, home, refugee, Syria
Publisher:Universita degli Studi di Torino


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