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By Paul Hammond

This ebook reads tragedy as a style within which the protagonist is estranged from the area round him, and, displaced in time, house, and language, involves inhabit a milieu that is now not shared via different characters. This alienation from others additionally involves a decomposition of the integrity of the person, that's usually noticeable in tragedy's uncertainty in regards to the protagonists' autonomy: do they act, or do the gods act via them? the place are the limits of the self, and the limits of the human? After an introductory essay exploring the theatrical and linguistic capability during which the protagonist is made to inhabit an odd and singular international, the e-book devotes essays to performs from classical, renaissance, and neo-classical literature by way of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Seneca, Shakespeare, and Racine. shut realization is paid to the linguistic strangeness of the texts that's usually smoothed over by way of editors and translators, because it is thru the weirdness of tragic language that the deep estrangement of the characters is proven. consequently, the Greek, Latin, and French texts are quoted within the originals, with translations additional, and a spotlight is paid to textual cruces which illustrate the linguistic and conceptual problems of those plays.

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15 below the strain of Phèdre’s ardour, because the international turns into unheimlich, a few of the phrases for ‘light’ (lumière, jour, clarté) develop into risky signifiers, given that gentle doesn't suggest an analogous for Phèdre because it does for the opposite characters. due to the fact at this era the note jour skill either ‘day’ and ‘daylight’, each one incidence of jour is susceptible to remind us that this distinct type of mild exists just for the an important unmarried day which neo-classical tragedy occupies: this can be gentle rethought sous le signe of tragedy. while she first appears to be like, Phèdre can't inhabit a unmarried position: she either desires and doesn't wish the sunshine. Phèdre, based on Théramène, is ‘Lasse enfin d’elle-même et du jour qui l’éclaire’ (‘weary finally of herself and of the day which lighting her’), and but Œnone says that Phèdre needs to determine the sunshine, and orders the elimination of others. sixteen She hence creates an area inside an area, a mild that's for her by myself. however it is oppressive. Her eyes are ‘éblouis’17 by means of this unaccustomed gentle: it capacity ‘dazzled’ or ‘blinded’, however the semantic field of this note within the 17th century additionally comprises ‘wronged’, ‘cheated’, ‘seduced’18—as if the ancestral gentle itself is her enemy and her seducer. because the descendant of the sunlight, there's nowhere for her to conceal: ‘Où me cacher? ’19 is a basically rhetorical 14 Le Mythe de Phèdre, pp. ninety four, ninety two. Racine can have taken this imagery from Euripides, who again and again refers to mild in his Hippolytus, although neither Euripides nor Seneca means that Phaedra reviews gentle and darkish in a distinctively varied method from the opposite characters; it truly is Racine’s mind's eye which creates a specific kind of mild for her. For information of Racine’s use of Euripides and Seneca, see the notes within the Pléiade version. sixteen 17 Phèdre, I i forty six; I ii 149–50. Phèdre, I iii a hundred and fifty five. 18 Dictionnaire historique de l. a. langue française, edited through Alain Rey, three vols. (Paris, 1992, reissued 1998), s. v. 19 Phèdre, IV vi 1277. 15 186 Phèdre query. the nature created by means of Robert Garnier openly invokes the ruler of the heavens, and the solar which sees into men’s hearts, to witness that she has been outraged by way of Hippolyte. 20 yet Racine’s Phèdre, with a higher ethical expertise, feels the complete weight of the ancestral gentle, and can't summon it to advocate a lie. Being within the gentle, in that gentle, is painful. She is shocked that she will be able to nonetheless maintain lifestyles, whether it is existence: ‘Et je vis? Et je soutiens los angeles vue j De ce sacré Soleil, dont je suis descendue? ’ (‘And do I reside? And do I suffer the sight of this sacred sunlight from which i'm descended? ’). 21 it's the sun’s gaze on her that's nearly intolerable. In seventeenth-century French soutenir is a sturdy verb: not only ‘sustain’ yet ‘undergo the attack of’, ‘resist’, ‘endure’. 22 back, the influence of the ancestors and the gods upon her appears a sort of violence. yet nor is there any get away to the darkness of the underworld, in view that her father Minos is pass judgement on there. 23 once more a public space—in this situation, the jointly mythologized darkness of Hades—has been become a singularity, part of her personal mythic house.

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