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Reimagining Greek Tragedy on the American Stage$
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Helene P. Foley

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780520272446

Published to California Scholarship Online: January 2013

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520272446.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CALIFORNIA SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.california.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of California Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CALSO for personal use.date: 16 September 2021

Introduction

Introduction

Americanizing Greek Tragedy

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
Reimagining Greek Tragedy on the American Stage
Author(s):

Helene P. Foley

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520272446.003.0001

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

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