Grounded, Heracles and the Gorgon's Gaze

Harrop, Stephe (2015) Grounded, Heracles and the Gorgon's Gaze. Arion: A Journal of Humanities and the Classics, 23 (1). pp. 169-185.

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Abstract

Grounded by George Brant is a drama which explores the psychological consequences, and moral implications, of our increasing dependence upon remote high-tech warfare. It takes the form of an extended monologue, in which The Pilot (we never learn her name) tells her own life story, from being a hot-shot F-16 flyer zooming over the skies of Iraq to the dislocation of piloting an Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (commonly known as a “drone”) from Creech Air Force Base, just outside Las Vegas. This essay discusses Grounded in the specific context of the Gate’s (London) production. It begins with a critical examination of my own “mis-seeing” of the play’s protagonist as a version of the tragic Heracles. The analysis which follows compares key aspects of The Pilot’s narrative with Euripides’ Heracles and Sophocles’ Women of Trachis, and relates my “mis-seeing” to Brant’s referencing of symbols and characters from ancient Greek myth within the drama. It finally considers the Gate’s staging of the play’s closing moments in relation to the dramaturgy of Athenian tragedy, examining the ways in which the production denies its watchers the expected tragic spectacle of the fallen hero, instead foregrounding and interrogating the ethics of the audience’s own spectatorship.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information and Comments: First published in Arion: A Journal of Humanities and the Classics, 2015, 23 (1). pp. 169-185. This is an OA Journal and Stephe Harrop has given permission for this to held in the database.
Faculty / Department: Faculty of Arts & Humanities > Drama,Dance and Performance Studies
Depositing User: Stephe Harrop
Date Deposited: 24 Feb 2016 10:13
Last Modified: 25 Feb 2016 10:59
URI: http://hira.hope.ac.uk/id/eprint/506

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