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News and messaging in Aeschylean Tragedy and their impact on internal and external audiences

Fitzgerald, Elizabeth S. 2018. News and messaging in Aeschylean Tragedy and their impact on internal and external audiences. PhD Thesis, Cardiff University.
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The thesis aims to examine how news and messages are delivered and to investigate their impact on internal and external audiences through the extant plays of the Athenian tragedian Aeschylus (525-456 B.C.E.). The research investigates how delivery of messages and news in tragedy is achieved through formal ‘messenger-identified’ characters, principal and supporting figures, and the chorus. The analysis includes the role of messaging in crossing barriers of time and space. The research indicates that delivery of news and messages is more complex than first appears. Previous scholarship has focused on messenger-identified figures, but these are not the only means of communicating news and messages. Factors which facilitate or enhance the delivery of news and messages include textual and dramatic techniques. An important category which has its own dramatic forms and trajectories is that of false messages. The research formulates a new concept, message enabling, which considers the impact of changing actions and events on message-deliverers and circulates messaging responsibility amongst the dramatic figures. The ancient texts studied incorporate significant mythological information which contextualises the action and frames the narrative. The way this information is used situates the internal and external audiences. This is achieved by the selection of mythological narratives, their presentation and sometimes by how they are changed and developed. The only extant play based upon an historical event also utilises aspects of mythological narratives to convey information, indicating their importance in the development of the tragic form. The research introduces new conclusions about news and message delivery systems in Aeschylean tragedy. The thesis is a sustained investigation of the topic in relation to the work of one poet but also establishes a framework for conducting comparative analyses with the work of other tragedians. There are also implications for how the plays are re-interpreted and staged in modern contexts.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Date Type: Submission
Status: Unpublished
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Uncontrolled Keywords: Aeschylus; Aiskhylos; Greek tragedy; Oresteia; Persians; Persai; Seven against Thebes; Septem contra Thebas; Suppliants; Supplian Women; Prometheus Bound; Agamemnon; Libation Bearers; Choephoroe; Choephori; Eumenides; news; messages; the messenger figure; Greek Messenger figure
Funders: Cardiff University SHARE Studentship
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 7 February 2019
Date of Acceptance: 7 February 2019
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2021 14:46

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