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Title: Looking back in anger : the dynamics of remembering and forgetting in the Sophoklean 'polis'
Author: Webb, C.
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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The objective of this thesis is to understand better the role that memory plays in Sophoklean tragedy. My approach interrogates the way memory shapes and underscores the dramatic narrative, taking into account both the personal and public perspective. The focus is on the representation of the πόλις and the inter-personal relationships found in the Antigone, the Elektra, and the Oidipous at Kolonos. The research project suggests that the driver behind characters’ resentment, anger, and duty can usefully be explored by an examination based in memory. For example, it reveals the way control of memory emerges as the basis for the attack and defence of and in the tragic πόλις and family. However, we also find positive actions in the persistence of recollection. Commemoration and ritual, the provision of gifts, memorialisation, and the refusal to forget one’s family all combine to recall those who are dead or absent. These underlying themes play a fundamental role in defining character and plot in Sophokles. I first put forward a definition of memory before examining the conflicts and gaps within the scholarship, using this as a foundation to examine the tragic πόλεις. An examination of how the different πόλεις, and the individuals who inhabit them, embrace or reject both remembering and forgetting, forms the nucleus of this thesis. History and drama connect through examples of burial regulation and post-mortem control. In both settings, we find attempts to regulate the past, present, and future. Through a reconsideration of the role memory plays in Sophokles, I suggest a distinct way of reading tragedy and an original contribution to the field.
Supervisor: Leonard, M. ; Carey, C. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available