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Theatre Props and Civic Identity in Athens 458-405 BC

Wyles, Rosie (2020) Theatre Props and Civic Identity in Athens 458-405 BC. Bloomsbury, London, 280 pp. ISBN 978-1-350-14397-5. E-ISBN 978-1-350-14399-9. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:84476)

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This monograph examines how Athenian drama shaped ideas about civic identity. Traditional responses to this question have overlooked the significance of props which were symbolically implicated in Athenian ideology. Yet the key objects explored in this study (voting urns and pebbles, swords, and masks) each carried profound connections to Athenian civic identity while also playing important roles as props on the fifth-century stage. Playwrights exploited the powerful dynamic generated from the intersection between the ‘social lives’ (off-stage existence in society) and ‘stage lives’ (handling in theatre) of these objects to enhance the dramatic effect of their plays as well as the impact of these performances on society. This study explores the on-stage and off-stage symbolism of these objects to produce a micro-history of the construction of Athenian identity through theatre, acknowledging both how dramas shaped the city’s self-reflective thinking and were enriched by it. This innovative approach to the relationship between Athenian theatre and society also brings fresh insights to two further areas: the dynamics between dramatic genres and the interaction of theatre with iconography. The exploration of the ‘stage lives’ of these objects across comedy, tragedy, and satyr drama reveals much about generic interdependence and distinction. Meanwhile the consideration of iconography representing the objects’ lives outside the theatre sheds light on drama’s powerful interplay with art. This study is intended for scholars and students of ancient Greek history, culture, and drama, as well as for those in the fields of Theatre Studies, Art History, and Cultural Studies.

Item Type: Book
Uncontrolled keywords: identity, citizenship, theatre, tragedy, comedy, sword, mask, voting, ballot, Athens, drama
Subjects: N Visual Arts
N Visual Arts > NX Arts in general
P Language and Literature
P Language and Literature > PA Classical philology
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The theatre
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
Depositing User: Rosie Wyles
Date Deposited: 26 Nov 2020 16:56 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2021 14:16 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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