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The Metamorphoses of Ancient Myths

Malgorzata Budzowska, Burc Idem Dincel, Jadwiga Czerwinska and Katarzyna Chizynska

This book gives a comprehensive overview of the phenomenon of artistic dialogue with ancient myths. The contributions assume a double-track research approach. The contributors investigate the procedure of myths' recycling within Greco-Roman antiquity, and they consider modern re-occupations of myths in dramatic literature and theatre. Providing various examples of myths' reception from antiquity to present days, this book confirms the persistent human need of re-mythization.

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The Re-staging of Antigone in Twentieth-Century Europe: an Irish Example (Rossana Zetti)


Rossana Zetti*

The Re-staging of Antigone in Twentieth-Century Europe: an Irish Example

Abstract: This paper will explore the impact of the Antigone myth on modern thought, which has been persistent over the past decades in Europe, primarily from a political point of view. Antigone is, in fact, a paradigmatic play for exploring the clash between the state and the individual person, and for vindicating the human right to rebel against a repressive authority. Several politically oriented adaptations of Antigone have been written and staged around the globe and have been used to fight for the recognition of human rights. But how are the plays from the classical repertoire to be made to live for an audience of today? Why has the Antigone myth been so fruitful and how does it affect our modern imagination? In this paper, I will focus on two Irish adaptations of the play: Tom Paulin’s The Riot Act (1984) and Brendan Kennelly’s New Version of Antigone (1986). Written at a particularly turbulent time, when Ireland was facing the tragedy of the Civil War, the Irish playwrights exploit the Antigone myth to raise modern issues of human right, justice and rebellion against the State. Both plays are particularly interesting, since they claim a transposition to the political situation in Northern Ireland. Such parallel is achieved through specific choices of language and by giving clear hint to the characters. By modifying the play in this way, Paulin and Kennelly tend to appropriate the myth,...

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