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Ancient Myths in the Making of Culture


Małgorzata Budzowska and Jadwiga Czerwińska

The reception of Mediterranean Antiquity heritage is one of the dominant research areas in contemporary classical studies. This issue has constituted the scope of the conference Reception of Ancient Myths in Ancient, Modern and Postmodern Culture, which took place at the University of Łódź (Poland) in November 2013. The volume consists of the selected articles based on the conference papers. They are divided into the main chapters: Literature, Visual and Performing Arts and Philosophy as well as Anthropology. The authors consider different methods of reception of ancient myths focusing on various cultural phenomena: literature, fine arts, theatre, cinema and pop culture.
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Mythical Transformations. (A)Pollonia, directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski towards Ancient Tradition


The main theme of Krzysztof Warlikowski’s drama project (A)Pollonia is sacrifice. There are three narratives which revolve around this issue: the sacrifice of Iphigenia in Aulis, Alcestis’ substitutionary death, and the shooting of Apolonia Machczyńska-Świątek. All three characters present different stories; however, each depicts the problem of (self-)sacrifice. Iphigenia, as a votive offering for Artemis, was sacrificed on the altar by her father and the Greek army, before their departure for Troy. Alcestis sacrificed herself in place ← 201 | 202 → of her husband, who was destined for Hades. Meanwhile Apolonia was shot by a Nazi soldier. In the performance of (A)Pollonia, ancient myths intertwine with World War II, as a Polish woman attempts to rescue Jews in the town of Kock. The aim of this essay is to provide an analysis of the shifts within the ancient myth executed by Krzysztof Warlikowski. I intend to discuss how sacrifice is depicted in his modern adaptation of the ancient text and the results of bringing together contemporary issues (J. M. Coetzee, J. Little, H. Krall) with the distant past (Aeschylus, Euripides). Though the director married such remote subjects, the problem of the ambiguity of sacrifice is presented in the performance by a coherent and consistent narration.

the altar will be my grave Iphigenia-Alcestis-Apolonia

In one of the opening scenes of (A)Pollonia, directed by Krzysztof Warlikowski, Clytemnestra slaps her daughter’s face. Iphigenia, who has mocked her death, declares woefully: ‘The altar...

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