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By Eirene Visvardi

Emotion in motion: Thucydides and the Tragic refrain bargains a brand new method of the tragic refrain via studying how convinced choruses ‘act’ on their shared emotions. Eirene Visvardi redefines choral motion, analyzes choruses that enact worry and pity, and juxtaposes them to the Athenian dêmos in Thucydides’ background. thought of jointly, those texts undermine the pointy divide among emotion and cause and deal with a preoccupation that emerges as valuable in Athenian existence: how one can channel the motivational strength of collective emotion into sensible motion and render it conducive to team spirit and collective prosperity. via their functionality of emotion, tragic choruses increase the query of which collective voices deserve a listening to within the associations of the polis and recommend different how one can envision passionate judgment and motion.

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Extra info for Emotion in Action: Thucydides and the Tragic Chorus

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My analysis looks at Thucydides’ presentation of emotions primarily as collective responses—their nature, characteristics, and effects. Even though my focus in tragedy is on pity and fear, in the case of Thucydides I also include an examination of orgê, erôs, and hope, all of which are essential to an analysis of collective emotion in the History. Depending on context, orgê especially denotes either anger or passion more broadly. Thucydides’ text itself directs the focus on collective emotion to certain closely interrelated questions: what is the relationship between emotion and reason?

57 To the extent that it is sustained—and I will return to this point—choral otherness allows for a greater versatility of such paradigms. Two further points articulated by Helene Foley contribute to this idea of versatility and a conception of choral discourse with a weightiness particular to it. 60 This leads to a point that may be overlooked, if otherness is overemphasized. The plays consistently exploit and undermine otherness at the same time, in the case of both individual characters and choruses.

On Vernant see also Gould (1996) 218–220 who is the one who develops the notion of social marginality and Goldhill (1996) 244–6. Social marginality itself has been reconsidered, see below. 20 chapter 1 Overall these approaches call attention to two broad questions that persist in subsequent attempts to offer a nuanced understanding of the tragic chorus: first, how are we to explain the intuition that the collective chorus relates to the collective theater-audience in a distinct way? And second, what is the nature and effect of the choral voice as it is filtered through the performance of song and dance and the double identity of the chorus as a performer of ritual in the festival of Dionysus and as a dramatic character?

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