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By Erika Fischer-Lichte

This significant examine reconstructs the enormous historical past of ecu drama from Greek tragedy via to twentieth-century theatre, targeting the topic of identification. all through historical past, drama has played and represented political, non secular, nationwide, ethnic, class-related, gendered, and person innovations of identification. Erika Fischer-Lichte's issues comprise: * historical Greek theatre* Shakespeare and Elizabethan theatre by means of Corneilli, Racine, Moli?re* the Italian commedia dell'arte and its alterations into eighteenth-century drama* the German Enlightenment - Lessing, Schiller, Goethe, and Lenz* romanticism through Kleist, Byron, Shelley, Hugo, de Vigny, Musset, B?chner, and Nestroy* the flip of the century - Ibsen, Strindberg, Chekhov, Stanislavski* the 20 th century - Craig, Meyerhold, Artaud, O'Neill, Pirandello, Brecht, Beckett, M?ller. a person attracted to theatre all through historical past and this day will locate this a useful resource of data.

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This might either be a figure which arouses sympathy and compassion in the first half but which forfeits such empathy in the second half (as, for example, Alcmene in Heraclidae or Hecabe in Hecabe), or a figure which disappears in the second half or falls into the background and is replaced by another (as, for example, Phaedra, who is replaced by Hippolytus, in Hippolytus or Electra by Hermione in Orestes) or, finally, a figure which is first introduced in a negative way only to gather empathy in the second half (as Pentheus in The Bacchae).

His ‘questing’ reason, which up to this point has led him in all important issues, leaves him brooding all night until he comes to the conclusion that the plague can only be healed with the help of the gods’ counsel. Oedipus is determined to do everything within his power to save the city. Because the polis has absolute priority for him, he deeply respects openness in all important issues. Whilst Creon, for strategic reasons, wants to communicate Apollo’s command privately, Oedipus chooses to receive it in public.

But we cannot bring it to achievement. Some are betrayed by their own laziness, and others value some other pleasure above virtue. (376–83)13 Reason is subordinate to the physis, its desires and passions. Because of this, it also functions in a fundamentally changed way. It no longer seeks to find ‘truth’ but, instead, to invent rationalisations for the demands made by the physis to justify its actions and to develop strategies which 27 R I T UA L T H E AT R E abroad. The Bacchae is one of the few Greek tragedies to take the celebration of the god of the Great Dionysus festival as its theme.

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