Literature Assignment Please read through careful and make sure you understand well what needs to be done. Introductory material: pp. 629-633 The Acts of Paul and Thecla proper, chapters 7-43: pp. 6
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Please read through careful and make sure you understand well what needs to be done.
Introductory material: pp. 629-633
The Acts of Paul and Thecla proper, chapters 7-43: pp. 634-642
I have attached the reading in word I hope it is not too hard to read
This is the link for the reading.
Literature Assignment Please read through careful and make sure you understand well what needs to be done. Introductory material: pp. 629-633 The Acts of Paul and Thecla proper, chapters 7-43: pp. 6
DEPARTMENT OF FOREIGN LANGUAGES AND LIETERATURES LEH352 – The Ancient Romance Fall 2020 Instructor: Name: ______________________________ Writing Assignment: Acts of Paul and Thecla In spite of the notion of Erōs being displaced in the Acts of Paul and Thecla, can you make out any moments of sexual tension, overt or lying beneath the surface, between Paul and Thecla? There are some, I think. How about 400 words?
Literature Assignment Please read through careful and make sure you understand well what needs to be done. Introductory material: pp. 629-633 The Acts of Paul and Thecla proper, chapters 7-43: pp. 6
sign of triumph, not capitulation.” Why is Psyche’s marriage triumphant in Edwards’s view? • If Psyche is a marginal, has she succeeded in rearranging society to accommodate different values than those that were dominant before her quest? LEE R. EDWARDS, FROM PSYCHE AS HERO: FEMALE HEROISM AND FICTIONAL FORM (1984) Dreaming, we are heroes. Waking, we invent them. Conscious, unable to recreate the universe according to the patterns of desire, we require heroes to redeem a fallen world. Seductive figures, bold and daring, heroes promise power to the weak, glamour to the dull, and liberty to the oppressed. Their thoughts and actions cut channels into custom’s rock. They cross borders, advance into new territory, inspire revolt. Dreamers’ agents, necessary fictions, heroes enact our sleeping visions in the world, in daylight. We dream our heroes. In exchange, our heroes alter us. Dreams are improvisations, private theatricals, unpredictable and fragmentary. Heroism, however, is a public drama, produced by a collective imagination, directed by a common will. Its narrative is formal, even stylized. Its principals have principles in common: each is unique, all are analogous. Heroes resemble one another in behavior, inner makeup, and relationship to their surroundings. Yet, the specific details of heroic narratives—the actions they record, the heroes they depict— vary, like the content of our dreams, and reflect, as dreams do, a particular confluence of circumstance and psyche. Incarnations of abstract ideals and ineffable desires, heroes have no necessary attributes. They play a role, but cannot be typecast. Sex, class, status, occupation have great historical and social resonance, but not inherent meaning. A culture’s heroes reflect a culture’s values. Where values clash, heroic types conflict. Western culture, for example, has represented heroes typically as military leaders: commanding, conquering, and above all, male. Erect before us, such figures are the Picts’ perpetual descendants, woaddyed warriors hoping that the spectacle of their naked physical magnificence will awe their enemies into submission. Sacking Troy, seeking the Grail, dying at the Alamo, in Flanders’ fields, or on the Cross, their costumes change; their character remains. Even Christ, oddly peaceful in this company, must be remembered as the bringer of a sword; the crucifixion of God’s son, not a carpenter’s surprise, is the apotheosis of 15-Maurizio-Chap13.indd 625 08/10/15 5:08 PM 05/13/2020 – RS0000000000000000000002422978 (Mark Murphy) – Classical Mythology in Context 626 CHAPTER 13 Iphigenia and Quest Heroines # 158762 Cust: OUP Au: Maurizio Pg. No. 626 Title: Classical Mythology in Context C / M / Y / K Short / Normal DESIGN SERVICES OF S4CARLISLE Publishing Services noblesse oblige. Within this context—patriarchal, hostile, preoccupied with rank—the woman hero is an image of antithesis. Different from the male—her sex her sign—she threatens his authority and that of the system he sustains. This is so not because of what men and women really are, if such imponderables are ever fully knowable, but because of the positions assigned to men and women in every society our culture has devised. Leading a fugitive existence, her presence overlooked, her identity obscured, the woman hero is an emblem of patriarchal instability and insecurity. From her perspective, all social contracts have been bargained in bad faith and must be renegotiated. History, she reminds us, has buried the Picts. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Feminism, in recent years, has provoked an interest in women heroes, but such figures have a lengthy history. Indeed, the Greek myth of Amor and Psyche, retold by Apuleius in the second-century narrative, The Golden Ass, provides a classic example of the female heroic paradigm. The story of the love between a mortal woman and a male god, of Psyche’s passionate yearning for Amor, of Amor’s evasions and manipulations, and Venus’ jealousy of both the beautiful maiden and her own son, emphasizes a quest that fuses power’s needs with love’s. Its surface is romantic, but Psyche’s character, her deeds, her relationships with the surrounding world—natural, social, and supernatural— are typically heroic. Her beauty is both curse and blessing, a sign of social value and a stigma that thrusts her from society. Men worship her but will not marry her. Women are jealous. Her parents are unable to protect her from the oracle’s prediction that she faces immediate extinction. Gods, both Amor and his mother, persecute and torment her. Separated from parents, family, friends, and finally from Amor, Psyche suffers a progressive isolation; it ends only when her successful completion of seemingly impossible tasks restores the lovers to each other. Mediating between an alien nature and an equally frightening, if more familiar culture, she sorts the disordered seeds of Ceres, captures the sun’s rams’ golden fleece, contains life’s rushing waters in an urn. Contending against death, she pays her coins to Charon, throws sops to Cerberus, and resists pity for those who would trap her in the underworld, as Aeneas resists Dido’s supplications and Henry V leaves Falstaff in the dust. With some supernatural assistance, Psyche twice defies the gods, first when she uncovers Amor’s true identity, a second time when she takes for herself a prize designed for Venus. Like Prometheus, she steals immortal secrets for humanity. The marriage with 15-Maurizio-Chap13.indd 626 08/10/15 5:08 PM 05/13/2020 – RS0000000000000000000002422978 (Mark Murphy) – Classical Mythology in Context 627 # 158762 Cust: OUP Au: Maurizio Pg. No. 627 Title: Classical Mythology in Context C / M / Y / K Short / Normal DESIGN SERVICES OF S4CARLISLE Publishing Services 13.2 theory: EDWARDS, FROM PSYCHE AS HERO which the tale concludes is a sign of triumph, not capitulation. Psyche’s deeds have deified her, transformed Amor, fertilized life on earth, altered Olympus’ eternal ethic. The promise of a new order, metaphysical as well as physical, is celebrated and continued in the birth of a daughter, not a son. Patriarchy’s heir has been displaced. Psyche’s heroism, like all heroism, involves both doing and knowing. The pattern of the tale parallels the growth of consciousness. Each material advance marks an increase in psychic range, an apprehension of what was formerly forbidden and inaccessible. The possibility of the woman hero is contingent only on recognizing the aspirations of consciousness as human attributes; it is the absence of this understanding that has kept Psyche and her heroic daughters so long in shadow. For if heroism is defined in terms of external action alone and heroic actions are confined to displays of unusual physical strength, military prowess, or social or political power, then physiology or a culture that limits women’s capacities in these areas thereby excludes women from heroic roles. But if action is important primarily for what it tells us about knowledge, then any action—fighting dragons, seeking grails, stealing fleece, reforming love—is potentially heroic. Heroism thus read and understood is a human necessity, capable of being represented equally by either sex. Apuleius’ tale is significant for being a myth of heroic questing and internal growth that concentrates on the possibilities of human development and change. In contrast to most myths the patriarchy has retained, “Amor and Psyche” resolutely makes the main representative vehicle a woman who represents not femininity but heroism. When, near the tale’s end, Psyche defies Venus and discovers the secrets hidden by Persephone, her treatment violates mythological convention. Unlike Eve or Pandora, Psyche is neither punished nor reviled. She is not cited as the source of sin and human woe; instead she is hailed as a goddess, adored as the font and source of pleasure and delight. Psyche’s immersion in the archetypal patterns of heroic action supports a reading of heroism as an asexual or omnisexual archetype and suggests that heroic actions may be culturally atypical. Psyche’s labors and those of Hercules are analogous and equal expressions of heroic possibilities. Like the deeds of Achilles, Ulysses, Jason, and Ahab, Psyche’s actions resonate for all of us, men and women alike. And as Psyche is—marrying, not murdering; offering pleasure instead of pain; transforming the world rather than subduing it—so might we all wish to be. The goal of the quest in this tale is love: an expression and an alteration of the possibilities of individual relationship. Such love is born, the narrative’s conclusion demonstrates, only when the encounter is reciprocal. Amor and Psyche both participate. The bond between them 15-Maurizio-Chap13.indd 627 08/10/15 5:08 PM 05/13/2020 – RS0000000000000000000002422978 (Mark Murphy) – Classical Mythology in Context 628 CHAPTER 13 Iphigenia and Quest Heroines # 158762 Cust: OUP Au: Maurizio Pg. No. 628 Title: Classical Mythology in Context C / M / Y / K Short / Normal DESIGN SERVICES OF S4CARLISLE Publishing Services consciously acknowledges what was formerly unconscious or repressed. For Amor, just as for Psyche, the prospect of intimacy means separation from the mother and an end to childhood’s idyll. The tale is at pains to show that we are each—male and female, mortal virgin and great god of love—our mother’s frightened child, potentially both her extension and her rival. In entering into a relationship with Psyche, Amor is disobedient to Venus. Psyche’s encounter with the power of eroticism occurs in a supposed paradise of love. A torrid, shadowed, and subterranean place that exists only at night, it is the creation of Amor’s desire, the expression of his insecurity. Having been displaced by Psyche from this self-protective darkness, he returns for solace to his mother’s perfumed bedroom. There, wounded, passive, helpless, infantalized, he is imprisoned for most of the tale. In thrall to Venus and to his own fears and misapprehensions, he is rescued by Psyche when she makes him rescue her from Persephone’s spell. Gazing on divine mysteries, Psyche chances death, learns the gods’ secrets, empowers another, and lives. Bringing her treasure, as the hero must, from a dream’s darkness into daylight, she successfully concludes her quest in a transforming act of love. At the tale’s end, she and Amor again embrace. No longer caught in a deathly marriage where the first plunge into sexuality must be a fatal fall, the lovers now accept the risks attendant on self-revelation and the dispossession of old authorities by a new system of valuation that Psyche has created. All heroism, in fact, appeals to love, makes love its end, relies on faith where knowledge is impossible. Even The Iliad, memorialized by Simone Weil as a “poem of force,” concludes not with the spectacle of Hector’s bloody body being dragged around the fallen city but with Achilles and Priam joined in prayer, reconciled, if only for a moment. Love, in this sense, is neither romantic nor sexual. A social rather than a private impulse, it seeks expression in a public form and brings about a change from an old idea of community to a new ideal, one Victor Turner calls “communitas.” This term conveys a vision of community in its spiritual rather than its administrative or geographic sense. Communitas is “spontaneous, immediate, concrete . . . as opposed to the normgoverned, institutionalized abstract nature of social structure” (RP, p. 114). The participants in this relationship confront one another directly and create a “model of society as homogeneous and unstructured” (RP, p. 119). Communitas is the state brought to birth by Psyche’s transformation of self and society, her union with Amor, and the offspring their relationship produces. Amor’s hostility toward communitas—an expression of love freely given between individuals loosed from socially or divinely imposed restraints—reflects the extent to which 15-Maurizio-Chap13.indd 628 08/10/15 5:08 PM 05/13/2020 – RS0000000000000000000002422978 (Mark Murphy) – Classical Mythology in Context 629 # 158762 Cust: OUP Au: Maurizio Pg. No. 629 Title: Classical Mythology in Context C / M / Y / K Short / Normal DESIGN SERVICES OF S4CARLISLE Publishing Services 13.3 comparison: THECLA Psyche’s quest raises a living heroism against the dead hand of ritual. Heroic power is inseparable from the love the hero expresses and inspires. It is this connection between love and power, so often glossed over in narratives and interpretations of male heroism, that is the central structure of “Amor and Psyche.” Psyche’s child, always in utero referred to as a son, is born a girl and named Pleasure. The change is startling. Heroines typically have sons, hostages to patriarchy, signs that their marriages have been retreats and that they have been incorporated again into an unchanged world. But Pleasure—sensuous, unmanly, feminine—is love’s product, a vital expression of communitas. Where instinct and intellect are fused, Pleasure is born. In a culture that sees love as expressive primarily of sexuality alone and as contained only in relationships that reinforce social and economic hierarchies, the need to liberate eros from this hidden bondage can best be perceived and represented by figures who are truly marginal to society, as women have been rendered marginal in patriarchal culture. Nonetheless, this quest is the prototype of all heroic action. ROME: THECLA Thecla was a young woman who lived in Iconium (modern day Turkey) during the second century ce. From a wealthy family, she was preparing to marry an equally wealthy young man named Thamyris when she happened to hear the apostle Paul (5–67 ce) preach about Jesus. Like many a Greek heroine, just before her wedding Thecla refused to follow the path set for her. She rejected Thamyris in favor of entering the public sphere to live a celibate life and to travel throughout the Mediterranean, spreading the teachings of Jesus. Thecla managed twice to escape being martyred. She lived a long life and died uneventfully. Both ancient and modern scholars debate the historicity of Thecla. Some think she did not exist at all, and that all the stories about her are forgeries. Others argue that, although her stories may not be factually accurate, they nonetheless approximate the life of second-century Christian women who devoted themselves to celibacy and to preaching about Jesus. As the patron saint of Tarragona in Spain and at the center of many scholarly and Christian debates, Thecla seems far removed from mythological figures such as Medea or Antigone. Yet intriguing lines of continuity may be traced from the new heroines and heroes of Greece to the stories of Christian saints. In this section, we compare early Christian martyrs and saints to new heroines. 13.3 COMPARISON 15-Maurizio-Chap13.indd 629 08/10/15 5:08 PM 05/13/2020 – RS0000000000000000000002422978 (Mark Murphy) – Classical Mythology in Context 630 CHAPTER 13 Iphigenia and Quest Heroines # 158762 Cust: OUP Au: Maurizio Pg. No. 630 Title: Classical Mythology in Context C / M / Y / K Short / Normal DESIGN SERVICES OF S4CARLISLE Publishing Services SAINTS AND MARTYRS IN EARLY CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES There are striking similarities between the worship of Greek heroes and heroines beginning in the Greek Iron Age (1150 bce), which evolved in the Classical Age (490–323 bce) to include new heroes, and the Christian cults of saints and martyrs, which began in the first century ce in the Roman Empire. Christians who were martyred by the Romans as well as those who pursued virtuous deeds and asceticism (i.e., refused marriage and wealth in favor of spiritual pursuits) during the first to fourth centuries ce were sometimes worshipped by fellow believers after their death. Holy persons (usually ascetics) were believed to be able to perform miracles while living, as were martyrs during the period shortly before their execution. After death, their miraculous powers were believed to remain in their bodies. They were worshipped and petitioned at their tombs, and annual celebrations on the day of their martyrdom were observed. Although martyrs and holy persons were venerated at their tombs in ways similar to Greek heroes and heroines, there were nonetheless important differences. Greek heroes and heroines were powerful in their own rights, not because they were believed to be in communion with other deceased heroes or heroines or gods. Moreover, Greek heroes and heroines were imagined to be close to or under the earth, near their tombs. They were thought to be neither in the heavens or Olympus nor in close proximity to the gods. Christian holy persons and martyrs, on the other hand, were believed to be in heaven—even if their corpses (or parts of their corpses, known as relics) were occasionally believed to work miracles. Additionally, whereas the bodies of heroes and heroines might be sought and moved from one tomb to another because their powers were believed to inhere in their corpses, their actual physical remains were not revered or handled. In contrast, Christian holy persons and martyrs, once they had died, were believed to be in communion with one another, to be intimate with God, and to reside in the heavens. Their decaying bodies and clothes were lovingly dug up and touched and very often divided so that they could be shared among several places, where they might attract attention and serve as a conduit to God. One such early martyr was the bishop of Smyrna, Saint Polycarp. In 156 ce Polycarp was brutally tortured and burned at the stake for his refusal to revere the emperor of Rome. In a written account by members of his church, they describe how “we took up the bones, which are more valuable than precious stones and finer than refined gold, and laid them in a suitable Map 13.2 Thecla from Iconium to Rome Black Se a M e d i t e r r a n e a n S e a Seleucia Iconium Smyrna Rome GREECE Tigris Kura Kizil Nile Danube Euphrates 0 km 0 miles 1000 1000 15-Maurizio-Chap13.indd 630 08/10/15 5:08 PM 05/13/2020 – RS0000000000000000000002422978 (Mark Murphy) – Classical Mythology in Context 631 # 158762 Cust: OUP Au: Maurizio Pg. No. 631 Title: Classical Mythology in Context C / M / Y / K Short / Normal DESIGN SERVICES OF S4CARLISLE Publishing Services 13.3 comparison: THECLA place, where the Lord will permit us to gather ourselves together as we are able, in gladness and joy, and celebrate the birthday of his martyrdom.” In later centuries, the repositories of the relics often became centers of Christian worship. Polycarp, for example, is the patron saint of Naupactus in western Greece, where his right arm is kept as a relic at the Holy Monastery of Panagia Ambelakiotissa. In sum, Greek heroes and heroines were remembered and celebrated as they were when they were alive: powerful, beautiful, and even frightening. Christian saints and martyrs were remembered and celebrated for their suffering in adherence to their faith; their decaying bodies were venerated because they recalled the transience of earthly life even as they promised communion with eternal life. As the veneration of martyrs and holy persons became ever more important to Christian communities, control of their tombs became a social and spiritual concern to the early Christian church as it tried to consolidate its worshippers and doctrines into one system (fourth to sixth centuries ce). Here, too, we see a difference from earlier Greek practices. A hero or heroine’s worship at a shrine rose in popularity or faded into obscurity along with the fortunes of its local community. No central religious authority or organization sought to codify or control it. The cults of martyrs and saints, however, increasingly became sites of contestation among local elites and bishops, who saw them as sources of influence and spiritual authority (and, for the less scrupulous, opportunities for profit, especially as believers made pilgrimages to visit tombs and relics). NEW HEROINES AND MARTYRS Although the preceding section describes some of the differences between the more general category of Greek heroes and heroines and Christian martyrs (Chapters 10.1 and 11.1), the intriguing similarities between Christian martyrs and new heroines are worthy of consideration. The word “martyr” comes from the Greek word meaning “to witness.” Martyrs served as witnesses to their beliefs during their deaths, which were, from the beginning, elaborate public spectacles. Nero, the first Roman emperor to order the execution of Christians, arranged for such exotic torments 13.5 Thecla with two wild beasts. Terracotta ampulla (flask). Sixth to seventh century ce. Louvre Museum, Paris, France. © RMNGrand Palais / Art Resource, NY, ART167305. 15-Maurizio-Chap13.indd 631 08/10/15 5:08 PM 05/13/2020 – RS0000000000000000000002422978 (Mark Murphy) – Classical Mythology in Context 632 CHAPTER 13 Iphigenia and Quest Heroines # 158762 Cust: OUP Au: Maurizio Pg. No. 632 Title: Classical Mythology in Context C / M / Y / K Short / Normal DESIGN SERVICES OF S4CARLISLE Publishing Services as for them to be covered with pitch and used as torches or draped in animals skins and torn apart by dogs (64 ce); Thecla herself, as we shall see, was set upon by (and ultimately saved from) lions, bears, seals, and bulls (Figure 13.5). (The Roman historian Tacitus suggests that Nero wanted to distract the Romans from a six-day fire that burned through Rome and that most suspected Nero himself had started [Annals 15.44].) During the next three centuries, the Roman officials who ordered the executions of Christians most often said the Christian refusal to worship the Roman emperor as a god posed a threat to the Roman Empire (as in the case of Saint Polycarp). The manner of martyrs’ deaths was always public and cruel, even if the methods were not as elaborate as Nero’s, and increasingly placed the daily struggles of their early Christian communities to worship Jesus in a larger perspective. Far from discouraging their beliefs, the spectacle of martyrdom galvanized the fledgling community’s resolve to resist Roman persecution. Paradoxically, martyrs became empowered by their public deaths, not unlike new heroines. The passive suffering of martyrs, their “passion” (as in the Christian sense of the “passion of Christ”), neither was an act of violence nor incited violence. Yet, because they could not be compelled to cooperate with the Romans or act against their Christian beliefs, the deaths of martyrs both limited and criticized the powers of the Roman state. Thus, martyrs pursued a form of self-determination within very limited opportunities for action. Although only a few new heroines, like Iphigenia, Polyxena, or Antigone, “chose” to die in a manner akin to Christian martyrs, their actions nonetheless were a form of self-determination and a critique of their society, because their decision to act in public challenged normative rules. The account of Thecla, a Christian woman who escaped martyrdom twice, highlights the similarities between her (and, by extension, other early Christian martyrs) and Greek new heroines. THECLA AS A CHRISTIAN HEROINE The life of Thecla is known to us through two texts: “The Acts of Paul and Thecla,” from the apocryphal New Testament (stories omitted from the New Testament but including the same characters and plots), and an anonymous fifth-century-ce compilation of stories called the Life and Miracles of Thecla. Stories about Thecla’s life very likely derive from oral stories told at her tomb as described by Egeria, a Christian woman from Gallacea (modern Galicia, Spain) who made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem in the late fourth century ce. Egeria kept a diary of her experiences for a spiritual community of women in Spain, whom she addresses in her writing. In the following passage, Egeria describes her visit to the tomb of Thecla in Seleucia on her return (translated by M. L. McClure and C. L. Feltoe). 15-Maurizio-Chap13.indd 632 08/10/15 5:08 PM 05/13/2020 – RS0000000000000000000002422978 (Mark Murphy) – Classical Mythology in Context 633 # 158762 Cust: OUP Au: Maurizio Pg. No. 633 Title: Classical Mythology in Context C / M / Y / K Short / Normal DESIGN SERVICES OF S4CARLISLE Publishing Services 13.3 comparison: THECLA EGERIA, FROM THE TRAVELS OF EGERIA (c. 483 ce) Thence I entered the borders of Hisauria and stayed in a city called Coricus, and on the third day I arrived at a city which is called Seleucia in Hisauria; on my arrival I went to the bishop, a truly holy man, formerly a monk, and in that city I saw a very beautiful church. And as the distance thence to saint Thecla, which is situated outside the city on a low eminence, was about fifteen hundred paces, I chose rather to go there in order to make the stay that I intended. There is nothing at the holy church in that place except numberless cells of men and of women. I found there a very dear friend of mine, to whose manner of life all in the East bore testimony, a holy deaconess named Marthana, whom I had known at Jerusalem, whither she had come for the sake of prayer; she was ruling over the cells of apotactitae [Christians who renounce all possessions] and virgins. And when she had seen me, how can I describe the extent of her joy or of mine? But to return to the matter in hand: there are very many cells on the hill and in the midst of it a great wall which encloses the church containing the very beautiful memorial. The wall was built to guard the church because of the Hisauri, who are very malicious and who frequently commit acts of robbery, to prevent them from making an attempt on the monastery which is established there. When I had arrived in the Name of God, prayer was made at the memorial, and the whole of the acts of saint Thecla having been read, I gave endless thanks to Christ our God, who deigned to fulfil my desires in all things, unworthy and undeserving as I am. Then, after a stay of two days, when I had seen the holy monks and apotactitae who were there, both men and women, and when I had prayed and made my communion, I returned to Tarsus and to my journey. Egeria says that she both prayed and “read the whole of the acts of saint Thecla,” which most likely refers to “The Acts of Paul and Thecla” (included at the end of this section). Egeria’s diary suggests that Thecla’s story, like those of many martyrs, was told repeatedly at her tomb and was carried home by pilgrims, who likely shaped and embroidered on the story as it was retold. In this light, it is not surprising that saints’ tales came to resemble early romances, in which both hero and heroine go on a quest to find their true love, often surviving harrowing adventures filled with fellow travelers, helpers, or villains. Whereas a martyr’s true love is Jesus, with whom spiritual unity is sought, similarities can be traced between the tales of Greek new heroines and those of Christian saints and martyrs. 15-Maurizio-Chap13.indd 633 08/10/15 5:08 PM 05/13/2020 – RS0000000000000000000002422978 (Mark Murphy) – Classical Mythology in Context 634 CHAPTER 13 Iphigenia and Quest Heroines # 158762 Cust: OUP Au: Maurizio Pg. No. 634 Title: Classical Mythology in Context C / M / Y / K Short / Normal DESIGN SERVICES OF S4CARLISLE Publishing Services UNKNOWN, FROM “THE ACTS OF PAUL AND THECLA” Thecla’s story as reported in “The Acts of Paul and Thecla” has many affinities with early tales of romance heroines (such as Amor and Psyche) and the Greek stories of new heroines. Thecla takes decisive action at the time of her marriage. She has a series of adventures as she pursues her goal: not a human lover, but a divine one. She places herself in the public sphere on behalf of others as well as her divine love, and her acts offer a critique of Roman society. Like Iphigenia and Polyxena, when sent to die, Thecla does not cower but instead meets her death willingly and with dignity in order to demonstrate her unshakeable commitment to her beliefs. Although her options are limited, she nonetheless chooses how to act and in so doing becomes a “witness” to her beliefs. In sum, whether through narrative patterns or motives, female Christian martyrs resemble both the new heroines of Greek tragedy and the heroines of ancient romances. (Translated by J. K. Elliott.) • In what ways (other than those already mentioned) does Thecla resemble Greek heroines whom you have already encountered? • Thecla is sent to the arena to be martyred twice. She survives thanks to the intervention of other females (a lioness and a patroness). To what degree is femaleness associated with Christian piety and kindness? • Antigone acts on behalf of her (biological) family against the state. Thecla, on the other hand, acts against her family’s (specifically her mother’s) wishes. How do Thecla’s actions redefine her notion of family? How might they serve to define a notion of family among early Christian communities? BEFORE YOU READ UNKNOWN, FROM “THE ACTS OF PAUL AND THECLA” (SECOND CENTURY ce) (2) ACTS OF PAUL: ACTS OF PAUL AND THECLA 7–43 7. And while Paul was speaking in the midst of the church in the house of Onesiphorus a certain virgin named Thecla, the daughter of Theoclia, betrothed to a man named Thamyris, was sitting at the window close by and listened day and night to the discourse of virginity, as proclaimed by Paul. And she did not look away from the window, but was led on by faith, rejoicing exceedingly. And when she saw many women and virgins going in to Paul she also had an eager desire to be 15-Maurizio-Chap13.indd 634 08/10/15 5:08 PM 05/13/2020 – RS0000000000000000000002422978 (Mark Murphy) – Classical Mythology in Context 635 # 158762 Cust: OUP Au: Maurizio Pg. No. 635 Title: Classical Mythology in Context C / M / Y / K Short / Normal DESIGN SERVICES OF S4CARLISLE Publishing Services 13.3 comparison: UNKNOWN, FROM “THE ACTS OF PAUL AND THECLA” deemed worthy to stand in Paul’s presence and hear the word of Christ. For she had not yet seen Paul in person, but only heard his word. 8. As she did not move from the window her mother sent to Thamyris. And he came gladly as if already receiving her in marriage. And Thamyris said to Theoclia, “Where, then, is my Thecla that I may see her?” And Theoclia answered, “I have a strange story to tell you, Thamyris. For three days and three nights Thecla does not rise from the window either to eat or to drink; but looking earnestly as if upon some pleasant sight she is devoted to a foreigner teaching deceitful and artful discourses, so that I wonder how a virgin of her great modesty exposes herself to such extreme discomfort. 9. “Thamyris, this man will overturn the city of the Iconians and your Thecla too; for all the women and the young men go in to him to be taught by him. He says one must fear only one God and live in chastity. Moreover, my daughter, clinging to the window like a spider, lays hold of what is said by him with a strange eagerness and fearful emotion. For the virgin looks eagerly at what is said by him and has been captivated. But go near and speak to her, for she is betrothed to you.” 10. And Thamyris greeted her with a kiss, but at the same time being afraid of her overpowering emotion said, “Thecla, my betrothed, why do you sit thus? And what sort of feeling holds you distracted? Come back to your Thamyris and be ashamed.” Moreover, her mother said the same, “Why do you sit thus looking down, my child, and answering nothing, like a sick woman?” And those who were in the house wept bitterly, Thamyris for the loss of a wife, Theoclia for that of a child, and the maidservants for that of a mistress. And there was a great outpouring of lamentation in the house. And while these things were going on Thecla did not turn away but kept attending to the word of Paul. 11. And Thamyris, jumping up, went into the street, and watched all who went in to Paul and came out. And he saw two men bitterly quarrelling with each other and he said to them, “Men, who are you and tell me who is this man among you, leading astray the souls of young men and deceiving virgins so that they should not marry but remain as they are? I promise you money enough if you tell me about him, for I am the chief man of this city.” 12. And Demas and Hermogenes said to him, “Who he is we do not know. But he deprives the husbands of wives and maidens of husbands, saying, ‘There is for you no resurrection unless you remain chaste and do not pollute the flesh.’” 13. And Thamyris said to them, “Come into my house and refresh yourselves.” And they went to a sumptuous supper and much wine and 10 20 30 40 15-Maurizio-Chap13.indd 635 08/10/15 5:08 PM 05/13/2020 – RS0000000000000000000002422978 (Mark Murphy) – Classical Mythology in 636 CHAPTER 13 Iphigenia and Quest Heroines # 158762 Cust: OUP Au: Maurizio Pg. No. 636 Title: Classical Mythology in Context C / M / Y / K Short / Normal DESIGN SERVICES OF S4CARLISLE Publishing Services great wealth and a splendid table. And Thamyris made them drink, for he loved Thecla and wished to take her as wife. And during the supper Thamyris said, “Men, tell me what is his teaching that I also may know it, for I am greatly distressed about Thecla, because she so loves the stranger and I am prevented from marrying.” 14. And Demas and Hermogenes said, “Bring him before the Governor Castellius because he persuades the multitude to embrace the new teaching of the Christians, and he will destroy him and you shall have Thecla as your wife. And we shall teach you about the resurrection which he says is to come, that it has already taken place in the children and that we rise again, after having come to the knowledge of the true God.” 15. And when Thamyris heard these things he rose up early in the morning and, filled with jealousy and anger, went into the house of Onesiphorus with rulers and officers and a great crowd with batons and said to Paul, “You have deceived the city of the Iconians and especially my betrothed bride so that she will not have me! Let us go to the governor Castellius!” And the whole crowd cried, “Away with the sorcerer for he has misled all our wives!,” and the multitude was also incited. 16. And Thamyris standing before the tribunal said with a great shout, “O proconsul, this man—we do not know where he comes from— makes virgins averse to marriage. Let him say before you why he teaches thus.” But Demas and Hermogenes said to Thamyris, “Say that he is a Christian and he will die at once.” But the governor kept his resolve and called Paul, saying, “Who are you and what do you teach? For they bring no small accusation against you.” 17. And Paul, lifting up his voice, said, “If I today must tell any of my teachings then listen, O proconsul. The living God, the God of vengeance, the jealous God, the God who has need of nothing, who seeks the salvation of men, has sent me that I may rescue them from corruption and uncleanness and from all pleasure, and from death, that they may sin no more. On this account God sent his Son whose gospel I preach and teach, that in him men have hope, who alone has had compassion upon a world led astray, that men may be no longer under judgement but may have faith and fear of God and knowledge of honesty and love of truth. If then I teach the things revealed to me by God what harm do I do, O proconsul?” When the governor heard this he ordered Paul to be bound and sent to prison until he had time to hear him more attentively. 18. And Thecla, by night, took off her bracelets and gave them to the gatekeeper; and when the door was opened to her she went into the prison. To the jailer she gave a silver mirror and was thus enabled to go in to Paul and, sitting at his feet, she heard the great deeds of 50 60 70 80 90 15-Maurizio-Chap13.indd 636 08/10/15 5:08 PM 05/13/2020 – RS0000000000000000000002422978 (Mark Murphy) – Classical Mythology in Context 637 # 158762 Cust: OUP Au: Maurizio Pg. No. 637 Title: Classical Mythology in Context C / M / Y / K Short / Normal DESIGN SERVICES OF S4CARLISLE Publishing Services 13.3 comparison: UNKNOWN, FROM “THE ACTS OF PAUL AND THECLA” God. And Paul was afraid of nothing, but trusted in God. And her faith also increased and she kissed his bonds. 19. And when Thecla was sought for by her family and Thamyris they were hunting through the streets as if she had been lost. One of the gatekeeper’s fellow slaves informed them that she had gone out by night. And they examined the gatekeeper who said to them, “She has gone to the foreigner in the prison.” And they went and found her, so to say, chained to him by affection. And having gone out from there they incited the people and informed the governor what had happened. 20. And he ordered Paul to be brought before the tribunal, but Thecla was riveted to the place where Paul had sat whilst in prison. And the governor ordered her also to be brought to the tribunal, and she came with an exceedingly great joy. And when Paul had been led forth the crowd vehemently cried out, “He is a sorcerer. Away with him!” But the governor gladly heard Paul speak about the holy works of Christ. And having taken counsel, he summoned Thecla and said, “Why do you not marry Thamyris, according to the law of the Iconians?” But she stood looking earnestly at Paul. And when she gave no answer Theoclia, her mother, cried out saying, “Burn the wicked one; burn her who will not marry in the midst of the theatre, that all the women who have been taught by this man may be afraid.” 21. And the governor was greatly moved, and after scourging Paul he cast him out of the city. But Thecla he condemned to be burned. And immediately the governor arose and went away to the theatre. And the whole multitude went out to witness the spectacle. But as a lamb in the wilderness looks around for the shepherd, so Thecla kept searching for Paul. And having looked into the crowd she saw the Lord sitting in the likeness of Paul and said, “As if I were unable to endure, Paul has come to look after me.” And she gazed upon him with great earnestness, but he went up into heaven. 22. And the boys and girls brought wood and straw in order that Thecla might be burned. And when she came in naked the governor wept and admired the power that was in her. And the executioners arranged the wood and told her to go up on the pile. And having made the sign of the cross she went up on the pile. And they lighted the fire. And though a great fire was blazing it did not touch her. For God, having compassion upon her, made an underground rumbling, and a cloud full of water and hail overshadowed the theatre from above, and all its contents were poured out so that many were in danger of death. And the fire was put out and Thecla saved. 23. And Paul was fasting with Onesiphorus and his wife and his children in a new tomb on the way which led from Iconium to Daphne. 100 110 120 130 15-Maurizio-Chap13.indd 637 08/10/15 5:08 PM 05/13/2020 – RS0000000000000000000002422978 (Mark Murphy) – Classical Mythology in Context 638 CHAPTER 13 Iphigenia and Quest Heroines # 158762 Cust: OUP Au: Maurizio Pg. No. 638 Title: Classical Mythology in Context C / M / Y / K Short / Normal DESIGN SERVICES OF S4CARLISLE Publishing Services And after many days had been spent in fasting the children said to Paul, “We are hungry.” And they had nothing with which to buy bread, for Onesiphorus had left the things of this world and followed Paul with all his house. And Paul, having taken off his cloak, said, “Go, my child, sell this and buy some loaves and bring them.” And when the child was buying them he saw Thecla their neighbour and was astonished and said, “Thecla, where are you going?” And she said, “I have been saved from the fire and am following Paul.” And the child said, “Come, I shall take you to him; for he has been mourning for you and praying and fasting six days already.” 24. And when she had come to the tomb Paul was kneeling and praying, “Father of Christ, let not the fire touch Thecla but stand by her, for she is yours”; she, standing behind him, cried out, “O Father who made the heaven and the earth, the Father of your beloved Son Jesus Christ, I praise you that you have saved me from the fire that I may see Paul again.” And Paul, rising up, saw her and said, “O God, who knows the heart, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, I praise you because you have speedily heard my prayer.” 25. And there was great love in the tomb as Paul and Onesiphorus and the others all rejoiced. And they had five loaves and vegetables and water, and they rejoiced in the holy works of Christ. And Thecla said to Paul, “I will cut my hair off and I shall follow you wherever you go.” But he said, “Times are evil and you are beautiful. I am afraid lest another temptation come upon you worse than the first and that you do not withstand it but become mad after men.” And Thecla said, “Only give me the seal in Christ, and no temptation shall touch me.” And Paul said, “Thecla, be patient; you shall receive the water.” 26. And Paul sent away Onesiphorus and all his family to Iconium and went into Antioch, taking Thecla with him. And as soon as they had arrived a certain Syrian, Alexander by name, an influential citizen of Antioch, seeing Thecla, became enamoured of her and tried to bribe Paul with gifts and presents. But Paul said, “I know not the woman of whom you speak, nor is she mine.” But he, being of great power, embraced her in the street. But she would not endure it and looked about for Paul. And she cried out bitterly, saying, “Do not force the stranger; do not force the servant of God. I am one of the chief persons of the Iconians and because I would not marry Thamyris I have been cast out of the city.” And taking hold of Alexander, she tore his cloak and pulled off his crown and made him a laughing-stock. 27. And he, although loving her, nevertheless felt ashamed of what had happened and led her before the governor; and as she confessed that she had done these things he condemned her to the wild 140 150 160 170 15-Maurizio-Chap13.indd 638 08/10/15 5:08 PM 05/13/2020 – RS0000000000000000000002422978 (Mark Murphy) – Classical Mythology in Context 639 # 158762 Cust: OUP Au: Maurizio Pg. No. 639 Title: Classical Mythology in Context C / M / Y / K Short / Normal DESIGN SERVICES OF S4CARLISLE Publishing Services 13.3 comparison: UNKNOWN, FROM “THE ACTS OF PAUL AND THECLA” beasts. The women of the city cried out before the tribunal, “Evil judgement! impious judgement!” And Thecla asked the governor that she might remain pure until she was to fight with the wild beasts. And a rich woman named Queen Tryphaena, whose daughter was dead, took her under her protection and had her for a consolation. 28. And when the beasts were exhibited they bound her to a fierce lioness, and Queen Tryphaena followed her. And the lioness, with Thecla sitting upon her, licked her feet; and all the multitude was astonished. And the charge on her inscription was “Sacrilegious.” And the women and children cried out again and again, “O God, outrageous things take place in this city.” And after the exhibition Tryphaena received her again. For her dead daughter Falconilla had said to her in a dream, “Mother, receive this stranger, the forsaken Thecla, in my place, that she may pray for me and I may come to the place of the just.” 29. And when, after the exhibition, Tryphaena had received her she was grieved because Thecla had to fight on the following day with the wild beasts, but on the other hand she loved her dearly like her daughter Falconilla and said, “Thecla, my second child, come, pray for my child that she may live in eternity, for this I saw in my sleep.” And without hesitation she lifted up her voice and said, “My God, Son of the Most High, who are in heaven, grant her wish that her daughter Falconilla may live in eternity.” And when Thecla had spoken Tryphaena grieved very much, considering that such beauty was to be thrown to the wild beasts. 30. And when it was dawn Alexander came to her, for it was he who arranged the exhibition of wild beasts, and said, “The governor has taken his seat and the crowd is clamouring for us; get ready, I will take her to fight with the wild beasts.” And Tryphaena put him to flight with a loud cry, saying, “A second mourning for my Falconilla has come upon my house, and there is no one to help, neither child for she is dead, nor kinsman for I am a widow. God of Thecla, my child, help Thecla.” 31. And the governor sent soldiers to bring Thecla. Tryphaena did not leave her but took her by the hand and led her away saying, “My daughter Falconilla I took away to the tomb, but you, Thecla, I take to fight the wild beasts.” And Thecla wept bitterly and sighed to the Lord, “O Lord God, in whom I trust, to whom I have fled for refuge, who did deliver me from the fire, reward Tryphaena who has had compassion on your servant and because she kept me pure.” 32. And there arose a tumult: the wild beasts roared, the people and the women sitting together were crying, some saying, “Away with the sacrilegious person!,” others saying, “O that the city would be 180 190 200 210 220 15-Maurizio-Chap13.indd 639 08/10/15 5:08 PM 05/13/2020 – RS0000000000000000000002422978 (Mark Murphy) – Classical Mythology in Context 640 CHAPTER 13 Iphigenia and Quest Heroines # 158762 Cust: OUP Au: Maurizio Pg. No. 640 Title: Classical Mythology in Context C / M / Y / K Short / Normal DESIGN SERVICES OF S4CARLISLE Publishing Services destroyed on account of this iniquity! Kill us all, proconsul; miserable spectacle, evil judgement!” 33. And Thecla, having been taken from the hands of Tryphaena, was stripped and received a girdle and was thrown into the arena. And lions and bears were let loose upon her. And a fierce lioness ran up and lay down at her feet. And the multitude of the women cried aloud. And a bear ran upon her, but the lioness went to meet it and tore the bear to pieces. And again a lion that had been trained to fight against men, which belonged to Alexander, ran upon her. And the lioness, encountering the lion, was killed along with it. And the women cried the more since the lioness, her protector, was dead. 34. Then they sent in many beasts as she was standing and stretching forth her hands and praying. And when she had finished her prayer she turned around and saw a large pit full of water and said, “Now it is time to wash myself.” And she threw herself in saying, “In the name of Jesus Christ I baptize myself on my last day.” When the women and the multitude saw it they wept and said, “Do not throw yourself into the water!”; even the governor shed tears because the seals were to devour such beauty. She then threw herself into the water in the name of Jesus Christ, but the seals, having seen a flash of lightning, floated dead on the surface. And there was round her a cloud of fire so that the beasts could neither touch her nor could she be seen naked. 35. But the women lamented when other and fiercer animals were let loose; some threw petals, others nard, others cassia, others amomum, so that there was an abundance of perfumes. And all the wild beasts were hypnotized and did not touch her. And Alexander said to the governor, “I have some terrible bulls to which we will bind her.” And the governor consented grudgingly, “Do what you will.” And they bound her by the feet between the bulls and put red-hot irons under their genitals so that they, being rendered more furious, might kill her. They rushed forward but the burning flame around her consumed the ropes, and she was as if she had not been bound. 36. And Tryphaena fainted standing beside the arena, so that the servants said, “Queen Tryphaena is dead.” And the governor put a stop to the games and the whole city was in dismay. And Alexander fell down at the feet of the governor and cried, “Have mercy upon me and upon the city and set the woman free, lest the city also be destroyed. For if Caesar hear of these things he will possibly destroy the city along with us because his kinswoman, Queen Tryphaena, has died at the theatre gate.” 37. And the governor summoned Thecla out of the midst of the beasts and said to her, “Who are you? And what is there about you that not one of the wild beasts touched you?” She answered, “I am a 230 240 250 260 15-Maurizio-Chap13.indd 640 08/10/15 5:08 PM 05/13/2020 – RS0000000000000000000002422978 (Mark Murphy) – Classical Mythology in Context 641 # 158762 Cust: OUP Au: Maurizio Pg. No. 641 Title: Classical Mythology in Context C / M / Y / K Short / Normal DESIGN SERVICES OF S4CARLISLE Publishing Services 13.3 comparison: UNKNOWN, FROM “THE ACTS OF PAUL AND THECLA” servant of the living God and, as to what there is about me, I have believed in the son of God in whom he is well pleased; that is why not one of the beasts touched me. For he alone is the goal of salvation and the basis of immortal life. For he is a refuge to the tempest-tossed, a solace to the afflicted, a shelter to the despairing; in brief, whoever does not believe in him shall not live but be dead forever.” 38. When the governor heard these things he ordered garments to be brought and to be put on her. And she said, “He who clothed me when I was naked among the beasts will in the day of judgement clothe me with salvation.” And taking the garments she put them on. And the governor immediately issued an edict saying, “I release to you the pious Thecla, the servant of God.” And the women shouted aloud and with one voice praised God, “One is the God, who saved Thecla,” so that the whole city was shaken by their voices. 39. And Tryphaena, having received the good news, went with the multitude to meet Thecla. After embracing her she said, “Now I believe that the dead are raised! Now I believe that my child lives. Come inside and all that is mine I shall assign to you.” And Thecla went in with her and rested eight days, instructing her in the word of God, so that many of the maidservants believed. And there was great joy in the house. 40. And Thecla longed for Paul and sought him, looking in every direction. And she was told that he was in Myra. And wearing a mantle that she had altered so as to make a man’s cloak, she came with a band of young men and maidens to Myra, where she found Paul speaking the word of God and went to him. And he was astonished at seeing her and her companions, thinking that some new temptation was coming upon her. And perceiving this, she said to him, “I have received baptism, O Paul; for he who worked with you for the gospel has worked with me also for baptism.” 41. And Paul, taking her, led her to the house of Hermias and heard everything from her, so that he greatly wondered and those who heard were strengthened and prayed for Tryphaena. And Thecla rose up and said to Paul, “I am going to Iconium.” Paul answered, “Go, and teach the word of God.” And Tryphaena sent her much clothing and gold so that she could leave many things to Paul for the service of the poor. 42. And coming to Iconium she went into the house of Onesiphorus and fell upon the place where Paul had sat and taught the word of God, and she cried and said, “My God and God of this house where the light shone upon me, Jesus Christ, Son of God, my help in prison, my help before the governors, my help in the fire, my help among the wild beasts, you alone are God and to you be glory for ever. Amen.” 270 280 290 300 15-Maurizio-Chap13.indd 641 08/10/15 5:08 PM 05/13/2020 – RS0000000000000000000002422978 (Mark Murphy) – Classical Mythology in Context 642 CHAPTER 13 Iphigenia and Quest Heroines # 158762 Cust: OUP Au: Maurizio Pg. No. 642 Title: Classical Mythology in Context C / M / Y / K Short / Normal DESIGN SERVICES OF S4CARLISLE Publishing Services 43. And she found Thamyris dead but her mother alive. And calling her mother she said, “Theoclia, my mother, can you believe that the Lord lives in heaven? For if you desire wealth the Lord will give it to you through me; or if you desire your child, behold, I am standing beside you.” And having thus testified, she went to Seleucia and enlightened many by the word of God; then she rested in a glorious sleep. TEN YEARS OF IPHIGENIA IN NEW YORK CITY Over the centuries, Euripides’s two plays about Iphigenia have been received and interpreted by scholars and artists alike. Iphigenia in Aulis, the more grave and tragic of the two, has proved more popular and is frequently restaged during times of war. In such productions, Agamemnon’s self-serving rhetoric contrasts with Iphigenia’s innocent nobility and reveals how a militaristic society shapes and corrupts human relations. Iphigenia among the Taurians, on the other hand, with its adventures, harrowing escapes, and happy endings, has attracted less attention. Its themes are not immediately apparent; its tone is lighter, and Iphigenia’s machinations provoke less interest than her decision to die in Iphigenia in Aulis. Despite differences in plot and tone, Euripides’s two plays share one feature that makes any modern interest in them seem rather remarkable: they both concern human sacrifice. In Iphigenia in Aulis Agamemnon chooses to sacrifice his daughter Iphigenia; in Iphigenia among the Taurians Iphigenia prepares the Greeks to be sacrificed—a service she is compelled to perform for Thoas, king of the Taurians. How, we might wonder, can a story about human sacrifice be adapted to discuss contemporary issues? This section looks at two plays that use human sacrifice as a key metaphor or plot device. Both premiered in New York City during the same decade (1999–2010) and are distinguished by their wildly inventive use of collage, videos, pop music, food, and much more to render these plays thoroughly 13.4 RECEPTION 13.6 Playbill from the premier of Michi Barall’s Rescue Me. http:// www.broadwayworld.com/off-off-broadway/article/MaYiTheatre-Company-Presents-RESCUE-ME-by-Michi-Barall20100322#.U6nE6Rnt214. ©Another Limited Rebellion, Courtesy of the Ma Yi Theater Company. 15-Maurizio-Chap13.indd 642 08/10/15 5:09 PM 05/13/2020 – RS0000000000000000000002422978 (Mark Murphy) – Classical Mythology 642 CHAPTER 13 Iphigenia and Quest Heroines # 158762 Cust: OUP Au: Maurizio Pg. No. 642 Title: Classical Mythology in Context C / M / Y / K Short / Normal DESIGN SERVICES OF S4CARLISLE Publishing Services 43. And she found Thamyris dead but her mother alive. And calling her mother she said, “Theoclia, my mother, can you believe that the Lord lives in heaven? For if you desire wealth the Lord will give it to you through me; or if you desire your child, behold, I am standing beside you.” And having thus testified, she went to Seleucia and enlightened many by the word of God; then she rested in a glorious sleep. TEN YEARS OF IPHIGENIA IN NEW YORK CITY Over the centuries, Euripides’s two plays about Iphigenia have been received and interpreted by scholars and artists alike. Iphigenia in Aulis, the more grave and tragic of the two, has proved more popular and is frequently restaged during times of war. In such productions, Agamemnon’s self-serving rhetoric contrasts with Iphigenia’s innocent nobility and reveals how a militaristic society shapes and corrupts human relations. Iphigenia among the Taurians, on the other hand, with its adventures, harrowing escapes, and happy endings, has attracted less attention. Its themes are not immediately apparent; its tone is lighter, and Iphigenia’s machinations provoke less interest than her decision to die in Iphigenia in Aulis. Despite differences in plot and tone, Euripides’s two plays share one feature that makes any modern interest in them seem rather remarkable: they both concern human sacrifice. In Iphigenia in Aulis Agamemnon chooses to sacrifice his daughter Iphigenia; in Iphigenia among the Taurians Iphigenia prepares the Greeks to be sacrificed—a service she is compelled to perform for Thoas, king of the Taurians. How, we might wonder, can a story about human sacrifice be adapted to discuss contemporary issues? This section looks at two plays that use human sacrifice as a key metaphor or plot device. Both premiered in New York City during the same decade (1999–2010) and are distinguished by their wildly inventive use of collage, videos, pop music, food, and much more to render these plays thoroughly 13.4 RECEPTION 13.6 Playbill from the premier of Michi Barall’s Rescue Me. http:// www.broadwayworld.com/off-off-broadway/article/MaYiTheatre-Company-Presents-RESCUE-ME-by-Michi-Barall20100322#.U6nE6Rnt214. ©Another Limited Rebellion, Courtesy of the Ma Yi Theater Company. 15-Maurizio-Chap13.indd 642 08/10/15 5:09
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