Chapter

Theatrocracy; or, Surviving the Break

Samuel Weber

in Theatricality as Medium

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print December 2004 | ISBN: 9780823224159
Published online March 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823235841 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fso/9780823224159.003.0002
Theatrocracy; or, Surviving the             Break

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Although the members of the audience may be different, theater, of all the arts, is said to resemble politics the most. Theater involves artifice while politics is imbued with a certain naturalness of the people concerned. Politics addresses and controls conflicts directly while theater exaggerates them. One of the major functions of theater in the advent of electronic media is to explain how sights, sounds, and other sensations experienced by a body are in fact related to bodies. Plato addresses the politics-theater relation by comparing democracy with “theatrocracy” while Benjamin gives emphasis to the notion of interruption. This interruption or break is then compared with the “new media”, in which the audience is required to participate to some degree. This chapter emphasizes the earliest articulations on how and why one should “survive the break”.

Keywords: theatrocracy; Plato; Walter Benjamin; interruption; electronic media; media

Chapter.  9513 words. 

Subjects: Philosophy of Language

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