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Title: The use of anonymous characters in Greek tragedy
Author: Yoon, Florence
ISNI:       0000 0000 5146 1158
Awarding Body: Oxford University
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2007
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Abstract:
This thesis is a study of the use of anonymous characters in tragedy, those figures in almost every extant play who can only be identified by role, not by name. The use of such characters is shaped by two important characteristics: they are flexible, unbound by the traditions that restrict the heroes drawn from mythology and history, and they are inherently self-effacing, due to their social and dramatic subordination to a particular hero. The anonymous characters therefore provide the tragedian with a very effective and subtle tool in realizing his particular interpretation of the common story. In particular, I consider the role of the nameless figure in the transformation of inherited mythological heroes into unique dramatic ·characters. Scenes with anonymous characters are never the only evidence of a playwright's interpretation of a hero, but serve subtly to confirm or, often, to introduce a trait that is further developed elsewhere in the play, influencing to a greater or lesser degree the audience's perception of that hero and his circumstances. The body of the thesis falls into three parts. The first is a brief description of those traits shared by anonymous characters belonging to comparable social classes, with a view to evaluating the influence of these roles on their function. The second and most substantial section consists of detailed analyses of individual passages in which a nameless figure contributes by his speech, actions, and/or identity to the characterization of a particular hero. I conclude with an examination of three exceptions that prove the rule and explore the boundaries between anonymity and naming.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Oxford University, 2007 Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID: uk.bl.ethos.487164  DOI: Not available
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