Abstract

This essay develops a concept of tragedy and its relation to historical representation through a reading of Racine's Bajazet. The only contemporary play in Racine's corpus, Bajazet poses the question of the relation between past and present both within tragic representation and between tragedy and the different historical periods in which it flourished. Drawing on the crucial role played by Bajazet's material body in constructing the tragic space of the play, I argue that the curious time-resistance of tragic speech derives from an inherent gestuality of the genre; one that recalls, each time it is performed, the origins of theater in an archaic relation to the dead body.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-661X
Print ISSN
0028-6087
Pages
pp. 439-460
Launched on MUSE
2005-09-23
Open Access
No
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