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Some Remarks Concerning Night Scenes on the Classical Greek Stage

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image of Mnemosyne

This paper examines ways in which the dramatists of the fifth century staged night scenes in an open-air, daytime theater, as well as how these scenes relate to the rest of their respective plays’ action. For want of archaeological evidence or treatises on dramatic production, the texts of the tragedies and comedies form the basis of the investigation, which aside from its focus on production techniques also has wider implications for the handling of time in Greek drama. A comparison of tragedy and comedy reveals differences in the two genres’ approaches to conveying ‘darkness’ to their audiences. This also holds true for the pseudo-Euripidean Rhesus, whose plot is set almost exclusively at night. Aristophanic comedy often uses props such as lanterns or torches to reinforce a verbally constructed nocturnal setting whereas tragedy, as far as we can tell, relies solely on spoken description.

Affiliations: 1: 3 rue de Belfort, Strasbourg 67100Francejasperdonelan@gmail.com

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/content/journals/10.1163/1568525x-12341213
2014-07-01
2017-08-22

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