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The Reception and Performance of Euripides' HeraklesReasoning Madness$
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Kathleen Riley

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780199534487

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2008

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199534487.001.0001

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Creating a Herakles for our times: a montage of modern madness

Creating a Herakles for our times: a montage of modern madness

(p.338) 10 Creating a Herakles for our times: a montage of modern madness
The Reception and Performance of Euripides' Herakles

Kathleen Riley

Oxford University Press

This chapter gives examples of some of the mediated ways in which Euripides' Herakles has infiltrated the current cultural climate, and examines in further detail the current phase in the reception of Euripides' Herakles, that of the ‘neo-Senecan Herakles’. Out of the escalating horrors of our post-9/11 world, and in direct response to the Iraq War, several new stage adaptations of Herakles have emerged. Apart from their record number, what is fascinating about these productions is that, although they are consciously inspired by Euripides, they have been unconsciously Senecanized, filtered through a sense of despair that is supremely Senecan and at the same time utterly contemporary. One of the modern productions discussed is Daniel Algie's Home Front (2006), in which the redemptive might of Euripidean philia is finally cancelled.

Keywords:   Herakles, mediated, neo-Senecan, Iraq War, Senecanized, Daniel Algie, Home Front

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