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Theatre of the CondemnedClassical Tragedy on Greek Prison Islands$
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Gonda Van Steen

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199572885

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199572885.001.0001

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‘Suspect always like the truth’: The Antigone of Aris Alexandrou

‘Suspect always like the truth’: The Antigone of Aris Alexandrou

(p.150) 5 ‘Suspect always like the truth’: The Antigone of Aris Alexandrou
Theatre of the Condemned

Gonda Van Steen

Oxford University Press

Chapter 5 offers a close reading of the Antigone that Aris Alexandrou wrote while pushed into near‐solitary confinement on Aï Stratis in 1951. The playwright mentally resisted such isolation by adapting one of the most widely appreciated classics. Alexandrou's political views positioned him on the left of the Greek Left, which made him suffer exile within “internal exile.” This analysis of his work must bring the author's ideology to life. Also, his play has more than an academic or ideological relevance since it was staged as recently as 2003 by director Victor Arditti. While many of the inmate plays prove to be leftist appropriations of mainstream material from within the dominant cultural legacy, Alexandrou's Antigone is different and most interesting as a free adaptation of Sophocles' original tragedy, seasoned with elements of Anouilh's Antigone and Brechtian techniques of performance and demythologization.

Keywords:   Greece, modern, political prisoners, ancient drama, Greek Civil War, Cold War, Aï Stratis, Aris Alexandrou, Sophocles, Antigone, Anouilh, Antigone, Brecht

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