By Thomas E. Jenkins
Written in a full of life and obtainable type, Antiquity Now opens our gaze to the myriad makes use of and abuses of classical antiquity in modern fiction, movie, comics, drama, tv - or even net boards. With each bankruptcy targeting a special element of classical reception - together with sexuality, politics, gender and ethnicity - this ebook explores the ideological motivations in the back of modern American allusions to the classical global. eventually, this kaleidoscope of receptions - from demands marriage equality to examinations of gang violence to passionate pleas for peace (or battle) - finds a 'classical antiquity' that reconfigures itself day-by-day, as modernity explains itself to itself via ever-expanding applied sciences and media. Antiquity Now therefore examines the often-surprising redeployment of the paintings and literature of the traditional global, a geography charged with especial worth within the modern mind's eye
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Mark Morris’ dance-theater version of Dido and Aeneas (1989), preserved on DVD and still touring the United States, takes Koestenbaum’s conceit even further: the role of Dido is danced by none other than Mark Morris. 59 Instead of presenting, through Purcell’s music, one of antiquity’s most celebrated “heterosexual” romances, Morris translates the relationship to the twentieth century, with a gender-bending, “gay” relationship between the two principals. Though the production is frequently campy—Morris also plays the (non-Virgilian) Sorceress as a deliciously maleﬁcent vamp—Morris’ impersonation of Dido isn’t, by the 57 Koestenbaum 1993: 233–4.
In his groundbreaking History of Sexuality, however, Michael Foucault famously argued that until the late nineteenth century “homosexuality appeared as one of the forms of sexuality when it was transposed from the practice of sodomy into a kind of interior androgyny, a hermaphrodism of the soul. ”8 That is to say, that before the medicalization of sexual discourse, the analysis of sexuality was largely conﬁned to sexual practice: the rather humdrum and mechanical actions involving a set of culturally determined body parts (including the penis, the vagina, the anus, the mouth, and a grab-bag of other erogenous zones).
Alcibiades’ frustrated attempts at sex/courtship—from an awkward moment alone (217B) to a sterile wrestling match (217C), to a couple of dinners (217D) to a drunken pass and embrace under a cloak (219B)—escalate into the desperate maneuvers of a man hopelessly in love. Moreover, even Alcibiades notes that his passion for Socrates subverts “ideal” Athenian expectations of homosexuality, in which the older partner is expected to take the lead, and the younger expected to endure such courtship for the sake of future pedagogical rewards.