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Cruelty, tenderness and anger: Ensuring the Women of Trachis speak to our times

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At a time when the vocality of women’s anger seems particularly pertinent, this article examines two contemporary adaptations of Sophocles’ Women of Trachis, both of which draw our attention to the abused and traditionally mute character of Iole. Timberlake Wertenbaker’s 1999 radio adaptation, Dianeira, illustrates dramatically the perils of keeping Iole silent, whilst Martin Crimp’s 2004 stage adaptation, Cruel and Tender, imagines the result of giving her a voice. This article considers how both plays resonate with the gendered and international conflicts of the contemporary world.
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Keywords: Crimp; Sophocles; Wertenbaker; anger; tenderness; voice

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Sheffield Hallam University

Publication date: June 1, 2019

More about this publication?
  • Adaptation, or the conversion of oral, historical or fictional narratives into stage drama has been common practice for centuries. In our own time the processes of cross-generic transformation continue to be extremely important in theatre as well as in the film and other media industries. Adaptation and the related areas of translation and intertextuality continue to have a central place in our culture with a profound resonance across our civilisation.
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