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  • Визуальные наставления в древнегреческих трагедиях об Оресте и Электре: дискурс слова и дискурс образа

Article

Визуальные наставления в древнегреческих трагедиях об Оресте и Электре: дискурс слова и дискурс образа

Great playwrights, whose names are associated with the “golden age” of the ancient Greek theater, often put on tragedies on the same subjects and even with the same names. Turning to the existing interpretations or creating new ones, they tried to teach a lesson to the city and instruct its audience-students on a certain interpretation of the current events. The polemic between the authors of the ancient Greek tragedies gave an additional flavor to the theatre agons, and the polemic between the modern researchers studying it has created a space for an interdisciplinary dialogue on the features of the ancient visual culture, amongst other things. In the article, a comparative analysis of three versions of the mythological plot about Orestes and Electra, presented in the
tragedy by Aeschylus “The Libation Bearers” and the tragedies of the same name “Electra” by Euripides and Sophocles, is carried out. These ancient Greek playwrights represent a hierarchy of the significance of the main characters – the brother and the sister, who are carrying out a plan of vengeance for the death of their father Agamemnon, through the hierarchy of their virtues and life principles. The comparison of the three tragedies is carried out according to a scheme that allows you to see these hierarchies: 1) at the beginning of the tragedy, where the first meeting of Orestes and Electra, during which they begin to try to assert their right to instruct themselves and others, takes place; 2) at the moments when the heroes come into conflict in point of who has the right to instruct under the supervision of the gods as the supreme instructors, and in what subjects; 3) at the end of the tragedy, when the heroes see the results of their instructions. The city, in which the tragic action unfolds, is either narrowing down to the particular family, where everyone thinks of himself as a mentor to the others, or expanding to the intellectual and political community of citizens who can be instructed by the example of their rulers. Aeschylus, Euripides and Sophocles offer the reader / spectator different “formats” of visual instructions in which the divine will and human desires are combined. In addition to the ancient Greek literary tradition, the mythological subjects about Orestes and Electra were reflected in the material culture (ancient Greek vases, relief images and bronze artifacts), which is another level of visualization of the instructions, this visualization being primary to the theater in some cases, and secondary in others. The tradition of depicting the mythological scenes about Orestes and Electra on the artifacts had taken shape long before the theatrical productions of Aeschylus, Euripides and Sophocles, partly predetermining their “discourse of the word’ and “discourse of the image”, and being partly transformed under their influence.