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The Civic Spectacle: Essays on Drama and Community

The Civic Spectacle: Essays on Drama and Community

by Mera J. Flaumenhaft


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In this exploration of four plays by Aeschylus, Euripides, Machiavelli and Shakespeare, Mera Flaumenhaft argues that, by revising well-known myths or histories, each playwright reshapes the community for which he writes. Emphasizing the context in which the plays have been read and performed, she examines the moral and political effects of each drama and its production, from the role of classical tragedy in MAINtaining the classical city, to the role of the modern history play in forming and maintaining the nation-state. Flaumenhaft demonstrates how the playwright's presentation of political themes within each drama relates to his view of the broadly political function of theater in his society.

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780847679645
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 08/23/1994
Pages: 120
Product dimensions: 6.06(w) x 8.96(h) x 0.58(d)

About the Author

Mera J. Flaumenhaft is a Tutor at St. John's College in Annapolis. She holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Pennsylvania.

What People are Saying About This

William Mullen

These essays are as deep as they are lucid; Flaumenhaft succeeds splendidly in her goal of using 'ordinary language' to 'think about the primary questions in our real lives.'

Catherine H. Zuckert

Mera Flaumenhaft is an acute and sensitive reader...

Jan H. Blits

This is a very fine book. Mera Flaumenhaft displays both sound scholarship and a distinctive and original approach. She teaches something new—how to view as well as how to read a play. I know of no one else who has tackled the combination of issues she discusses—certainly not in the philosophical way or with the keen literary eye that she has.

Mary P. Nichols

Mera Flaumenhaft has given us superb analyses of Aeschylus, Euripides, Machiavelli, and Shakespeare. Beyond this, she has demonstrated the social and political function of drama in maintaining and strengthening community. Not only those interested in the history of drama, but also anyone concerned with the problem of community in modern society has much to learn from this sensitive and insightful treatment.

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