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May 01 , 2008

Tantalus: The Greek Epic Cycle Retold in Ten Plays


Who is to Blame?

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Pericles of Athens

Pericles has had the rare distinction of giving his name to an entire period of history, embodying what has often been taken as the golden age of the ancient Greek world. "Periclean" Athens witnessed tumultuous political and military events, and achievements of the highest order in philosophy, drama, poetry, oratory, and architecture. Pericles…

What is the Truth?

Could it be Otherwise?

When theatre began, two and a half millennia ago in ancient Greece, it drew from a well of even older myths, the Epic Cycle. These myths were Europe’s first account of the tragedy and comedy of the human enterprise. Stories and characters from the beginning of our imagination inspired John Barton to write the great cycle of human life, Tantalus, an epic theatre myth for the modern age. Its subject is the Trojan War, a crusade which became a catastrophe. Helen of Troy – was she really the cause of this ten-year war? Agamemnon’s anguish – did he have to sacrifice his daughter? Clytemnestra – was her murderous revenge justified? A wooden horse – how could it destroy a great city? Heroes humbled, children hurt, mothers and fathers bereaved, entire nations shaken and rebuilt: all pass through this kaleidoscope of human fate. This new edition of Tantalus is the culmination of a lifetime’s work and fully encompasses John Barton’s visions and revisions.

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