Background and activities

My PhD project is a genre study of Greek Drama. When the dramas were written and performed in the 5th century, there was no extensive circulation of texts in Athens. The dramas were written to be performed at specific occations, very often staged by the poet himself. There are no stage directions, so the texts only concist of the lines spoken or sung on stage. Since the poets did not have any reason to accomodate readers, one would think that there was no reason for the characters to mention everything happening on stage, since this would have been superfluous for the audience. If important action on stage is not mentioned in the text, it undermines how well we should expect to understand both the texts themselves and the theatre for which they were written.

However, the Greek dramas have been read through history as meaningful texts, where we at least for the most part can understand what is supposed to happen on stage and the story being represented there. The last few decades researchers conducting performance analysis of the Greek dramas have disagreed on whether we should imagine that important stage action not mentioned in the texts could have been part of the performances, or that we should expect that everything essential is preserved in the texts. I will investigate what types of scenic elements that are expressed in the texts, and what types are not, and also how they are expressed. Through an analysis of this I hope to come to a clearer understanding of how the texts were meant to be used, and about how the composition of the texts was affected by the performance context.