The Topos of the Ephemeral in the Ancient Greek Tragedy

The Topos of the Ephemeral in the Ancient Greek TragedyIoana PETCU

Abstract: Fragment of the human condition, the ephemeral which lives within us. Trying to see how much the ephemeral ‘topos’ can be transfered to the performance level, particularly in the staging of the ancient tragedy. An intrusion in the history of this cause gives us the possibility to review in raccourcis its multiple semnifications. The second part of the article draws Hecuba’s portrait into a double mirror, the story of the Troy queen represents the myth of unstable happiness of the ancient world. Ambivalent picture of the character-ephemeris is built between the text of Euripides and modern perfomances on the stages of English, American, Australian and Romanian theatres. We also analyzed a few texts less approached from the directorial point of view, one the one hand in order to nuance the ephemerality topos and, on the other hand, in order to let them out of their shadow corner. The Aeschylian writings, The Seven against Thebes, The Persians and Euripides’ two tragedies Phoenician Women and The Suppliants have been our fundament to discovering new valences of the perishable and to showing the way that this motif can take from reading to scenic practice.

Keywords: ephemeral, topos, theater, tragedy, directing


The Topos of the Ephemeral in the Ancient Greek Tragedy

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