Performing Oaths in Classical Greek Drama by Judith FletcherPerforming Oaths in Classical Greek Drama by Judith Fletcher

Performing Oaths in Classical Greek Drama

byJudith Fletcher

Hardcover | January 23, 2012

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Oaths were ubiquitous rituals in ancient Athenian legal, commercial, civic and international spheres. Their importance is reflected by the fact that much of surviving Greek drama features a formal oath sworn before the audience. This is the first comprehensive study of that phenomenon. The book explores how the oath can mark or structure a dramatic plot, at times compelling characters like Euripides' Hippolytus to act contrary to their best interests. It demonstrates how dramatic oaths resonate with oath rituals familiar to the Athenian audiences. Aristophanes' Lysistrata and her accomplices, for example, swear an oath that blends protocols of international treaties with priestesses' vows of sexual abstinence. By employing the principles of Speech Act theory, this book examines how the performative power of the dramatic oath can mirror the status quo, but also disturb categories of gender, social status and civic identity in ways that redistribute and confound social authority.
Title:Performing Oaths in Classical Greek DramaFormat:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 8.98 × 5.98 × 0.79 inPublished:January 23, 2012Publisher:Cambridge University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0521762731

ISBN - 13:9780521762731


Table of Contents

Introduction; 1. From curses to blessings: horkos in the Oresteia; 2. Speaking like a man: Sophocles' Trachiniae and Philoctetes; 3. Horkos in the polis: Athens, Thebes, and Sophocles; 4. Perjury and other perversions: Euripides' Phoenissae, Orestes, and Cyclops; 5. Twisted justice in Aristophanes' Clouds; 6. Women and oaths in Euripides; 7. How to do things with Euripides: Aristophanes' Thesmophoriazusae; 8. Swearing off sex in Aristophanes' Lysistrata; Conclusion.