October 15, 2004

Visual Resources – Staging the Eumenides

4. Traditionally, it has been assumed that the theatrically 'strongest' position for an actor was directly in front of the central doors of the skene. Recently, however, in Tragedy in Athens, David Wiles has argued that, for Athenians, the most symbolically potent position was the centre of the orchestra. Explore both of these theories by considering the 'binding scene' in the Eumenides:

i. What kinds of spatial and choreographic relationships between theatre, spectators, actors and chorus, could have been established in each case?

'down, down, down I dive from a great height and fall on him with all my weight' ( the 'binding scene' part three of Aeschylus 'The oresteia')

The binding scene is a very physical scene which invokes great passion form the Furies(chorus). If it were perfromed infornt on the central doors of the skene then I think that alot of the movement, and emotion would be lost as it would be too distant form the audience. However in the centre of the orchestra that spectator would be able to do laot more action with the knowledge that the audience could see it. Moreover the orchestra is at the centre of the whole theatre and those in teered seating would more naturally have their sight drawn down to the orchestar as opposed to the skene!


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