Publication Date

2011

Abstract

Numerous commentators have recently noted that the ancient art form of Greek tragedy has been undergoing something of a worldwide resurgence in popularity. This, they argue, can be attributed to the fact that contemporary societies are no less fertile a stage for tragedy than their ancient Greek antecedent. The objective of this article is to examine whether the resurgence of Greek tragedy possesses the potential to speak, metaphorically or otherwise, to political concerns today as the tragedies of Greece once did. In order to address this question, the article does two things. Firstly, it briefly outlines the political nature of tragic drama in ancient Athens, especially the connection between the political ascendency of tragedy and the rise of democracy. As illustrations of this claim, the article alludes to the political implications surrounding two notable Greek tragedies: Aeschylus' Suppliants and Sophocles' Antigone. Following this, it then makes the case for the political implications of tragic drama in the twentieth and twenty‐first centuries. To do so, it returns to the examples of Suppliants and Antigone to show how Greek tragedy can still be read as a powerful form of political discourse.

Document Type

Journal Article

Access Rights

Access to ACU Staff and Students

Access may be restricted.

Share

COinS