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Lookup NU author(s): Dr Susanna Phillippo
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The ‘recognition scene’ in Aeschylus’ Choephoroe (Libation Bearers) has been the focus of much critical debate, both textual and dramatic, with one key but contested element being Electra’s identification of her brother by his footprints near their father’s tomb. What has less often been discussed is the dramatic relationship of this scene to, and its implications for, the first entry of Orestes in the play’s opening: a passage whose text survives only in fragmentary form. Are Orestes’ footprints ‘bare’ footprints? If so, does he enter at the play’s outset barefoot, or does he enter shod and remove his footwear? What might be the dramatic and thematic implications of either visual detail? This article sets the question in the context of critical debates about classical Athenian tragic costume and footwear, exploring such 5th-century visual evidence as is available. It also explores the layers of meaning that production details like this might add to the trilogy, in the light of current theories about the significance of Ancient Greek footwear, its donning and its removal.
Author(s): Phillippo S
Editor(s): Pickup, S and Waite, S
Publication type: Book Chapter
Publication status: Published
Book Title: Shoes, Slippers, and Sandals: Feet and Footwear in Classical Antiquity
Print publication date: 02/10/2018
Online publication date: 21/09/2018
Acceptance date: 31/08/2017
Place Published: Oxford
Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item