Helene P. Foley

in Reimagining Greek Tragedy on the American Stage

Published by University of California Press

Published in print October 2012 | ISBN: 9780520272446
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780520953659 | DOI:

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The introduction locates the reception of Greek tragedy on the American stage in the context of developments in American professional theater from the nineteenth century to the present. Although Greek tragedy often appeared to represent views in tension with American optimism and exceptionalism, American artists developed various ways of “Americanizing” them. Using Sophocles's Electra as its central example, the introduction then explores how American productions and new versions of the play by Eugene O'Neill, Joseph Chaikin, Ezra Pound, Luis Alfaro, and others have served to represent the struggle of the individual to develop a social identity and to make important choices in a challenging political environment and in the context of a dysfunctional family.

Keywords: Greek tragedy; American theater; Eugene O'Neill; Ezra Pound; Joseph Chaikin; Luis Alfaro; American social identity; Sophocles's Electra

Chapter.  11012 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical Literature

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