Acting Like Men: Gender, Drama, and Nostalgia in Ancient by Karen Bassi

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By Karen Bassi

"Greek drama calls for a narrative of origins," writes Karen Bassi in Acting Like Men. forsaking the quest for ritual and local origins of Greek drama, Bassi argues for a extra secular and not more formalist method of the emergence of theater in historic Greece. Bassi takes a large view of Greek drama as a cultural phenomenon, and she or he discusses a wide selection of texts and artifacts that come with epic poetry, historic narrative, philosophical treatises, visible media, and the dramatic texts themselves.
In her dialogue of theaterlike practices and reports, Bassi proposes new conceptual different types for knowing Greek drama as a cultural establishment, viewing theatrical functionality as a part of what Foucault has referred to as a discursive formation. Bassi additionally offers a major new research of gender in Greek tradition at huge and in Athenian civic ideology particularly, the place spectatorship on the civic theater was once a distinguishing characteristic of citizenship, and the place citizenship was once denied women.
Acting Like Men contains targeted discussions of message-sending as a kind of scripted speech within the Iliad, of hide and the theatrical physique of Odysseus within the Odyssey, of tyranny as a theaterlike phenomenon within the narratives of Herodotus, and of Dionysus because the tyrannical and effeminate god of the theater in Euripides' Bacchae and Aristophanes' Frogs. Bassi concludes that the validity of an idealized masculine id in Greek and Athenian tradition is very contested within the theater, where--in principle--citizens turn into passive spectators. Thereafter the writer considers Athenian theater and Athenian democracy as at the same time reinforcing mimetic regimes.
Acting Like Men will curiosity these attracted to the background of the theater, functionality concept, gender and cultural reviews, and feminist methods to historic texts.
Karen Bassi is affiliate Professor of Classics, collage of California, Santa Cruz.

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Feelings of pity and fear). To my mind, this willingness presents one of the most interesting and difficult conundrums in the Poetics, even though it is more or less ignored in the critical litera27· Segal 1996, 154· 28. v8o~, or "plot," as the first of the six elements at 1450a9-lO, where O'ljJL~ is listed fifth. But this ordering only attests again to the uncertain status of visual spectacle in Aristotle's scheme. Nostalgia and Drama ture, in favor of the persistent search for an accurate meaning of catharsis.

But the possibility that not 16. On this topic, see Spelman 1988; Hall 1989; Hartog 1988; Vidal-Naquet 1986; Loraux 1990; duBois 1982; Long 1986, 131-32; Lloyd 1983, 26-43; Arthur-Katz 1989, 172; Rousselle 1988,26. " De Ste. C. " 17. Courage, or t'1voQEia, is essential to the guardians' education and to the preservation of the city (Republic 429a-430c). " Nostalgia and Drama 23 all males are masculine, or that bodily acts and speech acts are transitory and illusory, only proves the need to postulate an essential core of immutable masculinity.

At the same time, this genderspecific opposition between nonmediated and mediated speech is analogous in the epics to an opposition between the warrior who fights man-to-man and the fighter who fights from a distance; the archer is the paradigmatic example of the latter. 7 These contested modes of communication and of combat are essential and related variables in the construction of the heroic male, who, like Achilles, is to be "experi- 4. This definition of scripted speech holds whether or not we insist on the literal existence of the dramatic script in the fifth century.

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