Chapter

The City on the Edge: Lee Breuer's <i>The Gospel at Colonus</i>

Barbara Goff and Michael Simpson

in Crossroads in the Black Aegean

Published in print December 2007 | ISBN: 9780199217182
Published online January 2008 | e-ISBN: 9780191712388 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199217182.003.0005

Series: Classical Presences

The City on the Edge: Lee Breuer's The Gospel at Colonus

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Lee Breuer's The Gospel at Colonus foregrounds the themes found in Oedipus at Colonus, of reconciliation and integration, and tests them against America's racially divided society. The analyses in this chapter concentrate on various comparisons between Gospel and its Greek antecedent: on the representation of Oedipus, on descriptions of time and change, on the inconcinnity between the Christian and the Greek worldviews, and on the notion of place. The chapter shows that Gospel reworks the exacting bleakness of the Greek play in the service of a vision of a racially integrated American polity. Its utopian politics, however, may be compromised by its other allegiances, including its commitment to the theatrical roots of tragedy. To pursue this tension, the play is read in relation to the traditions of gospel music, other black theatre, and the American avant-garde.

Keywords: Lee Breuer; The Gospel at Colonus; reconciliation; integration; Christian; place; gospel music; black theatre; avant-garde

Chapter.  19898 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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