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Hercules Performed

Hercules Performed: the hero on stage from the Enlightenment to the early twenty-first century

This is the final of four volumes associated with the Hercules Project, all arising from the 2013 and 2017 conferences, with some additional commissioned chapters, and appearing in the Brill series Metaforms: Studies in the Reception of Classical Antiquity. This volume follows on chronologically from the Christian Herakles volume, covering some of the same time-period as the Exemplary Hercules volume but taking the performance theme right up to the present day. It focuses on live theatre and embodiment, as distinct from the films discussed in the Modern Hercules volume, and musical drama. Provisional publication date late 2023-early 2024.

Editor: Emma Stafford (University of Leeds)

Overview of contents with links to abstracts

Emma Stafford, Preface

Emma Stafford, Introduction: embodying the hero and his story

1. Labours

Henry Stead, Hercules and the Victorian Strongman

Deborah Chatr Aryamontri, Hercules and the Tragicomic in the Epic Theatre of Dürrenmatt

Sofia Frade, “Breaking news: Hercules is the son of Zeus”: the chorus in Helen Eastman’s Hercules

Owen Hodkinson, “The moral madness of the modern Herakles”: collage and fragments of Herakles in Tony Harrison’s The Labourers of Herakles and the Harrison Archive

2. Madness

Neil Bernstein, The Madness of Hercules from Euripides to the Renaissance

Sue Hamstead, Hercules, Medea and the Reality of Filicide

Samuel D. Gartland, Herakles in Orbit: the role of space in modern versions of Euripides’ Herakles

3. Death and apotheosis

Lucia Degiovanni, Hercules’ Death and Apotheosis in C18th-19th-Century Italian Theatre

Eleftheria Ioannidou, The Sweet Vitality of Dancing Bodies: Classical Embodiment, Modernist Poetics, and Fascist Visions in Sophocles’ Trachiniae at Syracuse in 1933

George Rodosthenous, Directing The Wife of Herakles (2010) for a Contemporary Audience: footballers, hairdressers and sourcing the poison

Eleanor OKell, Herakles, Sex, Death, and Spin: Sophocles’ Trachiniae and its adaptations

4. Setting Hercules to music

Jon Solomon, Hercules at the Court of Louis XIV

Robyn Rocklein, Shattered Female Virtue: Dejanira in Handel's Hercules

Emma Stafford and Tim Benjamin, ‘I shall sing of Herakles’: writing a Hercules oratorio for the twenty-first century

Adriana Nogueira, Hercules in Twenty-first-century  Music