By Lorna Hardwick, Carol Gillespie

Classical fabric was once frequently used to precise colonial authority, however it used to be additionally appropriated via imperial matters to develop into first a method of not easy colonialism after which a wealthy box for growing cultural identities that mix the previous and the hot. Nobel prize-winners comparable to Derek Walcott and Seamus Heaney have rewritten classical fabric of their personal cultural idioms whereas public sculpture in southern Africa attracts on Greek and Roman motifs to symbolize histories of African resistance and liberation. those advancements are explored during this number of essays by way of foreign students, who debate the connection among the tradition of Greece and Rome and the alterations that experience the top of colonial empires.

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Extra info for Classics in Post-Colonial Worlds (Classical Presences)

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Iyunloye is perhaps the conceptually most daring and problematic character in the play. Even more than Gesinde or the Maye´, she shows how extreme situations can force people into certain roles. She makes herself a sexual object and succeeds. Powerlessness or power? Legitimization of patriarchal authority or female subversion? The ambivalence increases further if we bring in statements characters make about male–female relationships. ‘I know as a woman how it feels / To be chosen as the favourite of such a man’ (V), Erelu says to Iyunloye, referring to the physical attraction and status of her son.

This is a principal aspect of the paradox that OsoWsan points to, between local grounding—so crucial for giving the play its coherence and moral force—and universality. But what about Euripides? His play is there too, somewhere, and most spectators will know that, if only from the programme note. Those who are familiar with Trojan Women will see its inXuence throughout. At the most basic level, their knowledge will help them follow and (more or less precisely) predict the action of a play that is not structured around a strong narrative.

2 I saw the play twice, on 4 February in Chipping Norton and on 6 March at the Oval House Theatre. A video recording of one of the Oval House performances is deposited in the Theatre Museum in London. On the history of the commission see n. 21 below. At the time of writing this chapter, OsoWsan was still in the process of preparing the text for publication. I am grateful to him for showing me a working script and letting me quote from it, and to the good services of Sola Adeyemi in this. There may therefore be discrepancies from the eventually published text.

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