This essay focuses on the distinct yet related efforts of two contemporary American playwrights to re-read and re-historicize ancient Greek tragedy at the turn of the third millennium. Charles Mee's Agamemnon 2.0, presented for the first time in 1994, serves as a comment on America's imperial wars in the Middle East and also tests the limits of recontextualizing the Aeschylean classic in the present moment. In a similar vein, Ellen McLaughlin's Oedipus, which received its first professional production in 2005, criticizes America's hegemony as the sole world power and reviews the phase of intense volatility and insecurity on a national as well as a global scale that the "war on terror" and the "Iraq War" marked. The two plays are studied in this paper as self-standing works which prove rewriting a critical practice which challenges audiences to reassess the enveloping sociopolitical and historical context by moving well beyond the confines of straightforward transliteration.


Additional Information

Print ISSN
pp. 56-63
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
Back To Top

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Without cookies your experience may not be seamless.