UNDER ATHENIAN EYES: A FOUCAULDIAN ANALYSIS OF ATHENIAN IDENTITY IN GREEK TRAGEDY
The purpose of this thesis is to use Aeschylus’ The Persians as an example for exploring the facet of Athenian tragedy as part of the emerging civil discourse which rewrote Athenian identity in the fifth century BC. Through French philosopher Michel Foucault’s theories concerning power and discourse, I will illustrate how the Athenian tragedy was not merely an artistic form which expressed or/and reflected the philosophical ideas or political climate in the fifth-century Athens, but an institution of the Athenian governmentanity (as Foucault would describe it) in terms of modeling a new Athenian identity accordant with the martial democracy. Through the mechanics, the strategies of power exercise, of the festival of Great Dionysia and of the tragic competition, Athenian tragedy disciplined the Athenians. In this aspect, the dynamics between the theatrical practice and its society were fully perceived.
School Location:USA - Ohio
Source Type:Master's Thesis
Keywords:athenian tragedy power discourse civic identity politics
Date of Publication:01/01/2003