Greek drama often assigned to mythical women a revolutionary and active role that contrasted with their traditional roles. Whereas in archaic myth women were restricted to particular roles—whether as objects of exchange or prizes in battles, performing in cult and lamentation rituals, or in their household activities--Greek drama created a whole new corpus of untraditional female heroines.
In Greek tragedy women are often shown in conflict with men over issues relating to an oikos (house) as opposed to the polis (city). This conflict can be seen as a collision of two worlds: the male world of public duty and the female world of feelings and family. They are depicted as active and powerful, especially when they exit their oikos on being called to defend family values and bonds (e.g. Antigone to bury her brother, Medea to punish her treacherous husband, Hecuba to avenge her son’s death). Interestingly, this always results in some form of punishment.
Despite the obvious differences between their society and ours, the untraditional women of Greek drama continue to challenge us by posing critical questions on gender issues. By dramatizing these timeless problems these ancient ‘feminists’ offer us the opportunity to examine our own human and social, gendered relationships.
Workshop presentations will attempt to illuminate the modern perceptions and receptions of the untraditional women of ancient Greek theatre, and to examine how, in exceeding the limitations imposed on their sex, these women figures continue to reflect the social structures and times of their changing audiences.
An interdisciplinary workshop for scholars working in various fields, including literature, psychology, sociology, classics, women studies and beyond.
OPEN UNIVERSITY OF CYPRUS
13-15 DIGENI AKRITA STR.
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