By Rebecca Bushnell
A better half to Tragedy is an important source for someone attracted to exploring the position of tragedy in Western heritage and tradition.
- Tells the tale of the old improvement of tragedy from classical Greece to modernity
- Features 28 essays by means of well known students from a number of disciplines, together with classics, English, drama, anthropology and philosophy
- Broad in its scope and ambition, it considers interpretations of tragedy via faith, philosophy and background
- Offers a clean review of historic Greek tragedy and demonstrates how the perform of studying tragedy has replaced noticeably long ago decades
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Extra resources for A Companion to Tragedy
All this, together with various other considerations (Kossatz-Deissman 1978: 142–65), suggests that Dionysus may have had a role in the dramatized myth. Intriguingly, the drama is mentioned as one of those in which Aeschylus is said to have profaned the mysteries (Radt 1985: 63). These may well have been the Eleusinian mysteries of Demeter, but may conceivably have been those of Dionysus. Given the use of the mirror in the mysteries of Dionysus, which is probably alluded to in Euripides’ Bacchae (Seaford 1996: 223), it is of interest that Actaeon was said to have seen his horned head reflected in water shortly before his death.
Tragedy and Dionysus 27 Second, with Aristotle’s remark that tragedy arose from ‘‘the leaders of the dithyramb’’ (an originally processional hymn accompanying Dionysus), we should compare not only the parodos (entry-song) of Euripides’ Bacchae, but also the processional entry of Dionysus at the Anthesteria, which was certainly musical (in the vase-paintings of the festival the satyrs are shown playing pipes) and, indeed, precisely the kind of ritual that the dithyramb originally accompanied. ’’ Third, the procession seems to have been associated with a myth, and with female mystic ritual.
And the same may be said perhaps of other features of extant tragedy, for instance, the fundamental opposition between the powerful (and sometimes impenetrable) individual and the anonymous communality of the chorus, and perhaps even the social marginality of the chorus, who are only very occasionally able-bodied males. Then there are the frequent evocations of Dionysiac cult, not necessarily in dramas involving Dionysus himself. I conclude by looking at these. The first category consists of various mentions or brief descriptions, by several tragedians, of Dionysus or of Dionysiac cult.
A Companion to Tragedy by Rebecca Bushnell