Three different productions of Antigone are investigated with regard to the way in which the aesthetic of each performance was related to its political context: (1) the Tieck/ Mendelssohn production in Potsdam in 1841, one year after Friedrich Wilhelm IV ascended to the throne and ushered in a new era in Prussia; (2) Karlheinz Stroux's production in Berlin in 1940, the second year of World War II, and (3) Christoph Nel's production in Frankfurt upon Main in 1978, taking place at the time of the trial against the terrorist Red Army Faction in Stuttgart‐Stammheim, the suicide of the defendants in prison, and their funeral. It is argued that in all three cases it was the special relationship between stage and auditorium that brought about the politicization of the performances in their distinctive contexts, not so much because of a specific reading of the tragedy they conveyed, but primarily due to their particular aesthetic.
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