Chapter

<i>Eidôla</i> in Epic, Tragedy and Vase-Painting

Ruth Bardel

in Word And Image In Ancient Greece

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print November 2000 | ISBN: 9780748614066
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748651054 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748614066.003.0009
Eidôla in Epic, Tragedy and Vase-Painting

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Greece was not only the birthplace of the dramatic arts, it was also the birthplace of the stage-ghost, a much-neglected but utterly fascinating dramatic character. Ghostly etiquette demands that a ghost appear at night to one unaccompanied person, a code of behaviour which renders all ancient Greek stage-ghosts rather impertinent, appearing as they do in broad daylight. In order to avoid such complicated categorisation and its attendant problems, this chapter focuses on the word ‘eidolon’, the term that is used to designate stage-ghosts in the dramatis personae of ancient Greek tragedy. By focusing on this word, however, it soon becomes apparent that this figure not only seemed to refuse any one categorisation, but was also a provocative amalgamation of many areas normally held to be distinct; in particular, iconography.

Keywords: Greece; stage; ghost; eidolon; tragedy; categorisation; iconography

Chapter.  8984 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical Literature

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