Three plays by Nikos Kazantzakis, selected from several periods of his literary career, are of interest for ideological and aesthetic reasons. His first play, Day Is Breaking (1906), is a realistic bourgeois drama and is judged as rather difficult to stage today because of its ideology, which contemporary life has rendered passé, and also because of its poetical prose, which would sound melodramatic in performance. His tragedies, on the other hand, despite their ostensibly outmoded form, are very fit for twenty-first century theater. Melissa (1937) and Sodom and Gomorrah (1948) demonstrate the contemporary validity of Kazantzakis's message, the former for its use of psychoanalysis and the latter for its political message addressing the nuclear threat. Contemporary performances of Kazantzakis's plays show that they can be very effective in modern "deconstructed" productions enriched with multimedia effects.


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pp. 105-114
Launched on MUSE
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