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Seamus Heaney and the ClassicsBann Valley Muses$
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Stephen Harrison, Fiona Macintosh, and Helen Eastman

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198805656

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198805656.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.oxfordscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2019. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 October 2019

Ancient Greek Sailors with Twentieth-Century Metaphors (and Pan-Chronic Trousers)

Ancient Greek Sailors with Twentieth-Century Metaphors (and Pan-Chronic Trousers)

Directing Seamus Heaney’s The Cure at Troy

(p.85) 7 Ancient Greek Sailors with Twentieth-Century Metaphors (and Pan-Chronic Trousers)
Seamus Heaney and the Classics

Helen Eastman

Oxford University Press

This chapter particularly focuses on the duality of Heaney’s chorus, who are nominally the ancient sailors of the original, but use a diction and metaphoric landscape that places the play firmly in Heaney’s Ireland. We look not only at the literary and political implications of this, but specifically at the challenge it gives actors and directors working on the text. This chapter examines how the dual locus of The Cure at Troy works dramaturgically and visually, as an act of translation across time, space, and cultures, and the political questions the play raises by fusing chorus and God at the end of the play. As part of this exploration, the chapter charts Heaney’s journey to find a workable English verse line and metre for translating ancient drama, exploring his correspondence with Ted Hughes on the question. Furthermore, we look at the afterlife of The Cure at Troy, particularly revisions that Heaney has made when excerpts have been published in other contexts.

Keywords:   Heaney, Sophocles, Philoctetes, staging, translation

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