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Utopian reading of Dystopian tragedy

I've just gotten back from a lecture on Greek drama at the University by a professor from the University of Toronto, whose name I've spontaneously forgotten. The specific subject of the presentation was to review modern productions of various Athenian dramas and to observe how modern producers and theater companies have intentionally read-in a great deal of utopianism into what was originally a tragic, introspective art-form regarding our interiority and relationship to things divine.

In example we have the productions of Medea that attempt to "redeem" the titular character by re-writing her as an early example of proro-feminism -- usually by "downplaying" the act of her murdering her children in vengeance against the betrayal of her lover, Jason. Similarly, we have productions of Aristophones' Lysistrata that are rewritten as polemics against the Vietnam War and of Antigone wherein the tragic heroine is made-out to a jihaadist revolutionary -- presumably in a polemic against either Islam or religion generally. The linking theme in these productions is of course that of an underlying "cause" to effect social change through theater, but with the essential result of warping the cathartic exploration of the human condition of the original text into something more closely resembling propaganda.

My take: Greek theatre meets (post)modern man, (post)modern man approaches with an agenda and an incapacity to truly understand the other in its otherness, so (post)modern man attempts to enslave the experience of otherness to the agenda. Badda-bing, badda-boom.

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