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Look Inside Mask and Performance in Greek Tragedy

Mask and Performance in Greek Tragedy
From Ancient Festival to Modern Experimentation

$47.99 (C)

  • Author: David Wiles, Royal Holloway, University of London
  • Date Published: July 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107404793

$ 47.99 (C)
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About the Authors
  • Why did Greek actors in the age of Sophocles always wear masks? In this book, first published in 2007, David Wiles provided the first book-length study of this question. He surveys the evidence of vases and other monuments, arguing that they portray masks as part of a process of transformation, and that masks were never seen in the fifth century as autonomous objects. Wiles goes on to examine experiments with the mask in twentieth-century theatre, tracing a tension between the use of masks for possession and for alienation, and he identifies a preference among modern classical scholars for alienation. Wiles declines to distinguish the political aims of Greek tragedy from its religious aims, and concludes that an understanding of the mask allows us to see how Greek acting was simultaneously text-centred and body-centred. This book challenges orthodox views about how theatre relates to ritual, and provides insight into the creative work of the actor.

    • Offers a new perspective on masks in ancient and modern theatre performance
    • Will appeal to both students and scholars in the areas of classical studies and theatre
    • Contains over sixty images which illustrate the text
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    Reviews & endorsements

    'This is one of the most important books on Greek drama to appear in the last twenty years.' Journal of Hellenic Studies

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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2012
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107404793
    • length: 334 pages
    • dimensions: 246 x 189 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.6kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. The evidence of vases
    3. The sculptural art of the Greek mask-maker
    4. Mask and modernism
    5. Physical theatre and mask in the twentieth century
    6. Mask and text: the case of Hall's Oresteia
    7. The mask as musical instrument
    8. Masks and polytheism
    9. The mask of Dionysos
    10. Sacred viewing: 'theorizing' the ancient mask
    11. Mask and self
    Epilogue: to the performer.

  • Author

    David Wiles, Royal Holloway, University of London

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