Poétique du temps dans les tragédies de Sophocle : la construction de l'effet tragique

Abstract : By nature, theatre and time are linked. In Sophocles’ seven remaining tragedies, χρόνος is in the heart of the characters’ speeches, as a subject of their thought about human life, but first of all, as an agent of the progressing plot. On the first level, his action is destructive, because Sophocles’ hero, “a man of one day” (Aj. 399 and Ant.790), is afflicted by the brutal nature of time, made of arbitrary reversals to which he tries to resist to, as much he can, unless he makes light of them. But, on the second level, action in progress, time is also constructive of the tragic effect. This is attested by many and diverse words, showing fate going through the tragedy. So, time, that is impossible to represent on stage, because it is outside of the mimesis, reveals the hidden tension, commonly named the tragic, a woolly concept, never really defined by the texts, which will find here a poetic consistency and a new definition by the observation of the playwright’s choices. Thus, it is Sophocles’ creative reasoning that is analysed. According to the vocabulary in some passages selected, his reputation of not being a very spectacular author is belied: delay, haste, reversals, luck, opportunity… are highlighted in the texts, as major indicators of the action progressing to its end. And then, by crossing the lexical data, the enunciation marks and elements of civic rituals showed on the surface of the texts, we can then clearly distinguish the logical sequences of events making the tragedies’ coherence and the own temporality of each work. Sophocles builds his tragedies like a “carpenter” of the tragic effect. He makes up a dramatic present scattered with a plenty of signs showing χρόνος going through. At the end, Sophoclean tragedies are conscious of their own structure, because they develop a performative language to speak about the sensitive relation between man and time, and also, about their relation with time making of their poetic organization.KEYWORDS: tragedy-tragic effect-deixis-time-temporality
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Patricia Godard. Poétique du temps dans les tragédies de Sophocle : la construction de l'effet tragique. Littératures. Université Bourgogne Franche-Comté, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018UBFCC027⟩. ⟨tel-02288830⟩

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