Hellenic Studies Folio #10 from the Center for Hellenic Studies

April 8, 2021
Dionysian revelers dancing through a forest scene.
Dionysian revelers dancing through a forest scene.
"Bacchantenfest" (circa 1856), by Arnold Böcklin (1827–1901); Kunstmuseum Winterthur. Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Place and Space in Dramatic Performance

Building on the readings and questions in the most recent issue (HSF #9) relating to place and space in lyric poetry, we would like to turn to the topic of place and space in dramatic performance.

  • Why does a performance in a familiar place cause viewers to question their reality or to see it in another way? Can this include social realities?
  • How does the movement of the character of Pentheus through space in the drama Bacchae by Euripides compare to the movement of modern viewers through space in some site-specific performances? Is Pentheus himself a viewer or a performer?
  • To what extent can some online events, of the kind taking place during the pandemic, be understood as site-specific performances?

Lecture on site-specific dramatic performances

Video of approximately 18 minutes (watch from 00:07:50 through 00:26:30). The lecture was given in Greek, but viewers may adjust the YouTube video player settings to auto-translate the subtitles into English or another language.

Selections of approximately 2,400 words from The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours by Gregory Nagy

Read 21§§11–16, 38–45.

The book cover of The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours by Gregory Nagy depicting the statue of the dying Achilles with putto extracting an arrow from his heel.
The Ancient Greek Hero in 24 Hours

"Extra credit" video viewing:

Watch a performative reading of selections from the Bacchae of Euripides, with commentary; video of approximately 90 minutes.

Learn more about the Hellenic Studies Folios and the previous installments of the series.