»Events»Thebes on stage and on site: tragedy, reenactment, and textual topographies
Thebes on stage and on site: tragedy, reenactment, and textual topographies
Thebes was the paradigmatic city of Greek tragedy. Its distinctive walled topography offered a sealed conceptual space in which its ruling dynasty played itself out to destruction. Thebes was also a concrete place, a city with its own particular history. This paper looks at the ways that the visual and performative legacy of the stage play out in the city itself, using a traveller’s account from the 2nd c AD: Pausanias’ Guide to Greece. It draws on Rebecca Schneider’s recent observations regarding historical re-enactment to explore the paradoxical theatricality of the past as experienced on site. And it considers the cultural p rallels between staged performance, and the habits of touristic spectatorship.