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Euripides and the Politics of Form$
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Victoria Wohl

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780691166506

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691166506.001.0001

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Broken Plays for a Broken World

Broken Plays for a Broken World

(p.110) Chapter 5 Broken Plays for a Broken World
Euripides and the Politics of Form

Victoria Wohl

Princeton University Press

This chapter analyzes the relation between tragedy and its historical moment, focusing in particular on Orestes. It elaborates on an anticipatory temporality of tragic politics suggested at the end of chapters 2 and 3. Chapter 2 showed that the ethical demands tragedy makes on its audience cannot be met within the Theater of Dionysus: if tragedy's beauty (or its ugliness) makes us just, that justice remains to come, and it is our responsibility to bring it into being. Chapter 3 proposed that Electra's utopianism lies not in its “realist” depiction of an egalitarian scenario, but in its staging of egalitarianism as an emergent possibility, not yet realized in the present time of the play's production. The chapter argues that tragedy can do more than just imagine such future possibilities. By literally representing the affective experience of emergent scenarios, it can make them real.

Keywords:   Orestes, tragic politics, Euripedes, Euripidean drama, Greek tragedy

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