By Jan F. Brouwer
During this learn a cross-over is made among fields of inquiry. A
theoretical version from anthropology, Communitas, may be utilized to the
phenomenon of classical Greek theater. the aim of this cross-over is
to achieve a greater knowing of the performance of theater in fifth
century Athens. it truly is basically the purpose of this new interpreting of
ancient comedy and tragedy to provide a contribution to a extra right
interpretation of historic literary texts. therefore this ebook will express
itself invaluable within the box of conventional philology. Secondly the examine
wants to teach itself important within the box of anthropology, through giving
examples from Antiquity underlining and clarifying the theories of Van
Gennep and Turner. From an anthropological viewpoint it truly is
interesting to work out that Turner's findings not just make clear the
functionality of non-theatrical rituals, but in addition the workings of
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Extra info for Classical Greek Ritual Theater
The bounds between animal and man disappear, as do those between dead and living, god and man. " This description matches with Turner's findings: the religious nature of the ritual, the reflection on the basic values of society, the liberal criticism in liminality possible, the different nature of the ritual, the freedom from restrictions, the uprooting of the cosmological plan, so that the demarcations between life and death, animals and humans etc. are lifted: all these facets of the calendar ritual we have found in Turner's description.
This applies however only in peace time and only to citizens of a certain community in their mutual social relations. Conversely in war physical violence is encouraged. In preparation to war citizens must be trained in violence. In times of war violence is beneficial to the community and 11 Classical Greek Ritual Theater frequently the only means of surviving. But in some cases these two forms of violence, disruptive and beneficial violence, are difficult to sort out. A citizen may in social dispute harbor the same feelings of hatred in respect to his fellow tribe-member, as he feels in respect to a public enemy.
Communitas can best be studied in practice and can only be spotted by an astute and emphatic observer. The difficulty with historical anthropological research lies in the fact that we are not able to study the ritual 'in the field', like contemporary anthropology can. The difficulty with the interpretation of Greek rituals is even greater because of the scarcity of our data. Yet there is evidence that communitas was evoked during Greek calendar rituals. At these celebrations often all members of the community were allowed to join in the festivities.