Medea, a performance history: Witch & Woman

Medea, a performance history: Witch & Woman Book Details

By Fiona Macintosh, Claire Kenward & Tom Wrobel

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Medea, a performance history: Witch & Woman Summary

In 2016 the University of Oxford’s Archive of Performances of Greek and Roman Drama (the APGRD) published Medea, a performance history - a free interactive/multimedia ebook on the production history of Euripides’ Medea, the ancient Greek tragedy about a mother who, betrayed by her husband, exacts revenge by killing her children. First performed nearly 2,500 years ago, and continually reinvented since, Medea remains the most controversial yet alluring female role in the history of theatre worldwide.

Now, Medea, a performance history: Witch & Woman offers two related chapters from the ebook in order to provide a quicker-to-download, bitesize instalment. The first chapter, Witch, investigates the way in which, from the sixteenth century onwards, productions have explored Medea’s divine ancestry and her links to magic and witchcraft, not only as a source of personal power but also as a site of female persecution; the second chapter, Woman, focuses on productions that have sought to explore the rights, roles and restrictions of women in society, interrogate what it means to be female, and consider how Medea speaks to notions of ‘female transgression’.

The APGRD’s interactive/multimedia ebooks draw on a unique collection of archival material and research at the APGRD and beyond, and use images, film, unique interviews and digital objects to tell the story of a play that has inspired countless interpretations onstage and onscreen, in dance, drama, and opera, across the globe from antiquity to the present day.

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