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Lost Dramas of Classical AthensGreek Tragic Fragments$
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Fiona McHardy, James Robson, and David Harvey

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780859897525

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: May 2014

DOI: 10.5949/liverpool/9780859897525.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM LIVERPOOL SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.liverpool.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Liverpool University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in LSO for personal use.date: 30 July 2021

Spectral Traces

Spectral Traces

Ghosts in Tragic Fragments

(p.83) 5 Spectral Traces
Lost Dramas of Classical Athens

Ruth Bardel

Liverpool University Press

This chapter demonstrates the symbiotic relationship between fragmentary and nonfragmentary evidence. On the one hand, the ghosts that appear in fragments of tragedy may be better understood when judged alongside those which appear in extant tragedies. However, the opposite is also true: that is, our understanding of ghosts in extant plays is usefully informed by looking at their fragmentary cousins. The frequency with which ‘spectral traces’ appear in fragments suggests that ghosts were far more common in tragedy than the evidence of extant plays would suggest. The chapter discusses two fragmentary plays — Aeschylus' Psychagogoi and Sophocles' Polyxena — and a number of vase-paintings. It also considers broader issues of the staging of ghostly figures and their reception by a fifth-century audience.

Keywords:   Greek tragedies, fragmentary text, ghost, fragments, plays, Aeschylus, Psychagogoi, Sophocles, Polyxena, vase-paintings

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