A Vehicle for Performance
Acting the Messenger in Greek Tragedy
by Margaret Dickin
(University Press of America, 2008)
From the review by Simon Perris:
In this thought-provoking study of tragic messengers, Margaret Dickin examines role-divisions in Greek tragedy with a view to better understanding 'Dramatic Messengers'. Departing from the premise that such constraints as the Three-Actor Rule were treated as aesthetic principles rather than formal limitations, A Vehicle for Performance (re)appraises this 'rule' and its consequences for performance and interpretation of fifth-century Greek tragedy. Dickin concludes that tragic poets developed messenger speeches into histrionic show-pieces, and that the DM part could be -- and was -- combined with other parts in the drama to create a 'star vehicle' for actors.