Sunday 29 August 2010

what germaine greer did for the greeks

In OedipusEnders, the comedian Natalie Haynes considers what Greek tragedies have in common with soap operas.

One of the interviewees, Edith Hall, Professor of Classics and Drama at Royal Holloway, University of London, explains (11 mins in) that both put female characters at the centre of the drama. In the post-war period, there had been persistent efforts to idealise patriarchal values and the nuclear family. No-one could suggest that The Oresteia, Medea or Oedipus does that.

The revival of Greek drama in Britain, Professor Hall points out, coincided with the second wave of feminism and the publication of Germaine Greer's The Female Eunuch (1970).

(It's no coincidence that the early Seventies also saw the rise of environmentalism.)

Pic: Germaine Greer in 1970.

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