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Classics in Post-Colonial Worlds$
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Lorna Hardwick and Carol Gillespie

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199296101

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199296101.001.0001

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Shades of Multi-Lingualism and Multi-Vocalism in Modern Performances of Greek Tragedy in Post-Colonial Contexts

Shades of Multi-Lingualism and Multi-Vocalism in Modern Performances of Greek Tragedy in Post-Colonial Contexts

Chapter:
(p.305) 17 Shades of Multi-Lingualism and Multi-Vocalism in Modern Performances of Greek Tragedy in Post-Colonial Contexts
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Classics in Post-Colonial Worlds
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Lorna Hardwick (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199296101.003.0018

This chapter discusses the impact of multilingual productions of Greek drama in modern theatrical contexts, including community theatre. It examines the status of English as an imperial language, as a language of cross-cultural communication that has also been the vehicle for dissent and liberation, and as a language that was historically subaltern and—in terms of its function as a language of translation for classical texts—might be said to be continually so. The chapter uses examples of theatrical, poetic, and community practice as a check against totalising theory. It cautions against assimilating all examples of multilingual productions into one kind of post-colonial ‘moment’ and suggests that examination of different kinds of linguistic ‘braiding’ in translations, and in the staging of classical plays, provides an insight into the processes of engagement between and within cultures. These processes cross and reformulate social and cultural boundaries and groupings in the societies of colonisers and colonised alike. Multilingualism in stage productions, both inter-lingual and intra-lingual, is playing an important role in redefining both the classical texts and the concept of the post-colonial.

Keywords:   multilingualism, Greek tragedy, Greek literature, post-colonialism, theatre, English language, classical literature, translation

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