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Locus Tragicus: The Problem Of Place In Greek Tragedy

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Chapter Summary

Precisely by presenting the order of the polis in all its comprehensive severity, tragedy implicitly points the reader to what conditions it, and thus to what escapes it and renders it questionable. One of the ways in which this particular feature of Greek tragedy can be brought to light is through its handling of religious, legal, and political place. This chapter focuses on place lived and experienced as concrete and articulated. Moreover, it deals with place as it appears within the drama, as an ingredient element of the frame of reference informing the characters? speeches and deeds. Tragedy displays and effectuates a displacement of the polis and its nomos that raises fundamental questions about their unity and legitimacy. To find a first tentative substantiation of this claim, it is worthwhile to turn to a privileged case in point: Sophocles?s Theban trilogy Oedipus the King, Oedipus at Colonus and Antigone.

Keywords: Antigone; Greek Tragedy; legal place; Oedipus at Colonus; Oedipus the King; polis; political place; religious place



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