By Karen Bassi
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Additional resources for Acting Like Men: Gender, Drama, and Nostalgia in Ancient Greece
Svenbro's notion of dramatic performance as a vocal rewriting of the text is interesting if a bit confusing, since what is vocalized is not a rewriting but a reiteration of the written text in oral speech. See also Segal 1986. 5. Ion 535e9-536a1. This passage is discussed in more detail later in this chapter. 6. ). 7. Cf. Hanson 1989, 15: "[The] deliberate dependence on face-to-face killing at close range explains another universal object of disdain in Greek literature: those who fight from afar, the lightly equipped skirmisher or peltast, the javelin thrower, the slinger, and above all the archer (Eur.
Acting Like Men 1448b5-6). Thus, while Aristotle's ideal tragic spectators are not as clearly personified as Plato's guardians, they are naturalized in accordance with the proper effect of tragic mimesis. They even make a rather conspicuous appearance, so to speak, when Aristotle implicitly compares them to those spectators whose "weakness" is the source of inferior tragic plots (Lilv LWV 8EULQWV c'w8EvELaV, 1453a34-36). In general terms then, the Poetics is not a corrective to the Republic. 19 What Aristotle does have to say about the overt effect of tragedy on an audience constitutes one of the most controversial passages in the Poetics, namely, his all too brief claim that the catharsis of pity and fear is the benign and therapeutic purpose of tragedy.
Blundell 1992, 157. Acting Like Men These questions bring me back to catharsis. It seems clear that when Aristotle talks about catharsis in his definition of tragedy at Poetics 1449b24-28, he is not talking about an effect on the characters in the play. This interpretation is borne out at 1453bl-7, in which the "someone" [·w;] to whom Aristotle refers is the hearer of the [Oedipus] plot, who, as Segal remarks, stands in for the spectator. 27 The feelings of pity and fear to which that hearer is subject are the same feelings that bring about the proper effect of the tragic performance, that is, catharsis.
Acting Like Men: Gender, Drama, and Nostalgia in Ancient Greece by Karen Bassi