Article Title

The Rebirth of Tragedy: Protest and Evolution in Modern Greek Drama


In lieu of an abstract, the first paragraph of the essay follows:

Is the "closet" drama of Angelos Sikelianos, Nikos Kazantzakis, and Kostis Palamas ''inferior" to their poems and novels? The poor stage history of their plays supports the critical opinion to date that gives an affirmative answer to the above question. When one or two of their plays received a production or a stage reading, they reaped disapproval rather than applause from audiences and critics. Linos Politis, for example, considered Sikelianos' first complete tragedy, The Sibyl (1940), as a "genuinely inspired" work, but, because of its difficult language and symbols which stand beyond the grasp of general audiences, Politis was reluctant to call it a. tragedy or even a play. In Sikelianos' subsequent tragedies

the high (if difficult) symbolism of The Sibyl becomes an easier symbolism of social and political clashes (people and rolers). In The Death of Digenis (his last and feeblest tragedy, which has also the unwarranted title of Christ Unbound) Digenis, leader of the Manichean heretics, is a revolutionary I against the emperor Basil, and the defender of the weak and poor against the rich and rulers.1

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