When Heroism is Female. Heracles at Syracuse

  • Gherardo Ugolini Classical Philology and History of Greek and Roman Theatre, Verona

Abstract

Among the plays staged at the 54thFestival of Greek Theatre at Syracuse (14May-8July 2018) the event that attracted the greatest attention was Emma Dante’s production of the Heracles of Euripides. The Sicilian director proposed an innovative and subjective revisiting of the play without upsetting the sense of the Greek original. The staging makes use of an alternation of registers and styles, from the pathetic to the grotesque, from the tragic to the humorous, besides diversifying musical and choreographic modes. The aim is that of showing up the extreme fragility of the protagonist, compelled to regress from the glory of his heroic achievements to a destiny of suffering. In order to focus on this fragility Emma Dante assigns all the male roles (Lycus, Heracles, Amphitryon, Theseus and the Messenger) to female actors, thus provocatively reversing the codes of ancient Greek theatre.

Keywords:Euripides; Thebes; Syracuse; Greek tragedy; Emma Dante

Author Biography

Gherardo Ugolini, Classical Philology and History of Greek and Roman Theatre, Verona

Editor

Published
2018-12-20
Section
Special Section