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Classics in the Modern WorldA Democratic Turn?$
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Lorna Hardwick and Stephen Harrison

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199673926

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199673926.001.0001

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Demotic Power to the People

Demotic Power to the People

The Triumph of Dimotiki, the Triumph of Medea

(p.196) (p.197) 15 Demotic Power to the People
Classics in the Modern World

Anastasia Bakogianni

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses a 1997 revival of Euripides’ Medea by the National Theatre of Greece. This groundbreaking production used as its performance text a translation by George Himonas who championed the democratic idiom of demotike over the artificially constructed katharevousa. The accessibility of his chosen language was one of the many bold components that enhanced the stylized, but emotive, performance style of the production. The pared down choice of language was attuned to the stark production values of this Medea that distanced its audience, which had to rely on the familiarity of the language to balance the surrealism of the other components of the performance. The director’s choice of a popular actress to embody Euripides’ heroine marked a more popularizing tendency in Modern Greek revivals of ancient drama. This production offered spectators a truly democratic treatment and reception of classical Greek tragedy on the Modern Greek stage.

Keywords:   Euripides, Medea, performance reception, modern Greek, language

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