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New Light on Tony Harrison$
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Edith Hall

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780197266519

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197266519.001.0001

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Verbal and Visual Witnessing: Tony Harrison’s Euripides

Verbal and Visual Witnessing: Tony Harrison’s Euripides

(p.111) 11 Verbal and Visual Witnessing: Tony Harrison’s Euripides
New Light on Tony Harrison

Edith Hall

British Academy

This chapter explores the theme of witnessing in Harrison’s later theatre works, especially the contrast between photographic and poetic records and accounts of trauma. It argues that Harrison’s choice of ancient plays to adapt and translate (Hippolytus, Medea, Hecuba, Iphigenia in Tauris, Trojan Women), and the central topics discussed in his original play FRAM, are closely related to his experience of the ancient Greek tragedian Euripides, especially to his messenger speeches, and above all to the messenger speech in his HERACLES. It also discusses his engagement with the figure of Gilbert Murray, whose pro-suffragette translations of Euripides were directed in Edwardian London by Harley Granville Barker, and who appears in FRAM, and describes the genesis of Harrison’s IPHIGENIA IN CRIMEA, in which Hall was closely involved.

Keywords:   Tony Harrison, Edith Hall, Euripides, Fram, Crimea, Iphigenia, Witnessing, Trojan Women, Heracles, Messenger speech, Harley Granville Barker, Gilbert Murray

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