Grekiska seminariet. Virginia Mastellari (Freiburg). Disrupting Illusion in Ancient Greek Comedy: A Cognitive Perspective

  • Datum: –16.00
  • Plats: Engelska parken 9-3042
  • Föreläsare: Virginia Mastellari (Freiburg)
  • Arrangör: Grekiska seminariet
  • Kontaktperson: Eric Cullhed
  • Telefon: 0723042850
  • Seminarium

Seminarium med Virginia Mastellari om illusionsbrytande ögonblick i den antika komedin ur ett kognitionsvetenskapligt perspektiv.

My paper moves from the newest research on theatre spectating from the perspective of neuroscience: the cognitive involvement of spectators, including emotional engagement, and the audience action and interaction with a performance. Gilles Fauconnier and Mark Turner (The Way We Think: Conceptual Blending and the Mind’s Hidden Complexities, 2002) have shown that the audience generally blends the actor and the character into one image, one identity, to enable their affective immersion in the performance. My paper aims to investigate the limits of the blending process applied to ancient Greek comedy. Greek comedy is rich in moments in which the illusion is disrupted. To mention some of them, one can think of the parabaseis typical of ancient comedy, or the expositive prologues of new comedy, or asides and audience addresses. Do these moments affect the blend? For the sake of time, I will consider passages in which actors seem to step out of character, and as a result, the audience perceives them in two simultaneous roles: the part they are playing within the drama and their own actual identity as human beings and fellow citizens. I will point out that these moments, as disruptive as they could seem, were constituents of the genre and that the active participation of the audience in the play guaranteed a high level of involvement. Most of all, I assume that the mask played a key role in preserving the blend both in the audience’s and in the actor’s minds.