Tragedy in Athens: Performance Space and Theatrical Meaning

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This book examines the performance of Greek tragedy in the classical Athenian theatre. Whilst post structuralist criticism of Greek tragedy has tended to focus on the literary text, the analysis of stagecraft and the theatre has been markedly conservative in its methodology. David Wiles corrects that balance, exploring the performance of tragedy as a spatial practice specific to Athenian culture, at once religious and political. Athenian conceptions of space were quite unlike those of the modern world. After reviewing controversies and archaeological data regarding the fifth-century performance space, Wiles turns to the chorus and shows how dance mapped out the space for the purposes of any given play. The book shows how the performance as a whole was organised and, through informative diagrams and accessible analyses, Wiles brings the theatre of Greek tragedy to life.