By Karen Bassi
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Extra info for Acting Like Men: Gender, Drama, and Nostalgia in Ancient Greece
On Aristotle's statement at Poetics 1448blO-12, that mimesis affords pleasure in what ought to give pain, see chap. 5. Obviously actual spectators could refuse to look at Oedipus on stage; my point depends on the principle that, by definition, spectators are in the theater to watch. Nostalgia and Drama 35 analysis in the critical history of drama. In the works I have been discussing, attention is deflected from the body as a corporeal object of empirical observation and onto a stable and internal essence of [masculine] selfhood.
This observation, offered as a means of disavowing the reality of that act and forestalling its terrible consequences, illustrates Aristotle's critique of dramatic apsis as I have described it; it internalizes those acts and would keep them in control and out of sight. But more to the point, this explanation helps to contextualize Jocasta's statement as a source for Freud's analysis of Sophocles' play in The Interpretation of Dreams, a text that represents perhaps the most conspicuous example of a critique of dramatic production in the service of preserving a dominant masculinity.
But with the obvious exception of mime, dramatic impersonation comprises both bodily acts and speech acts. Despite the fact that Aristotle can do away with apsis and can simultaneously reduce the verbal articulation of a play to the reading or recitation of its main events (Poetics 1453bl-7), formal dramatic performance advances by means of the first-person speeches of the actors. I/2 The historical route by which this term comes to designate an actor and how its meaning is appropriate for an actor's performance are uncertain.
Acting Like Men: Gender, Drama, and Nostalgia in Ancient Greece by Karen Bassi