Mark as drama : a prolegomenon to reading the Gospel of Mark as an Aristotelian tragedy

Doctoral Thesis


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University of Cape Town

Recently, a number of scholars (Bilezikian, 1977; Hooker, 1991; Botha, 1993; Shiner, 2003; Dewey, 2004; Fast, 2005; Byrskog, 2006; Holland, 2007) have alluded to, or highlighted, the dramatic nature of, and the performative possibilities in, the Gospel of Mark. Their comments and explorations are appropriated as the basis for engaging in a theoretical work that seeks to establish both why and how the Gospel of Mark may be read as a dramatic text, and, consequently, to suggest a manner in which to dramatize this account of the Gospel of Mark. The task is undertaken with Michel Foucault and Aristotle as the guides, and, significantly, with Foucault as the interpretive guide to the processes of forming Aristotle's treatise on drama. It endeavours, first, to emphasise the physically inscriptive power of texts (why the Gospel of Mark may be performative); second, to demonstrate the diverse and complex processes which form the specific discourse of the Poetics by Aristotle, and to foreground some of its central interpretive protocols (how the Gospel of Mark may be read as a drama); and, finally, informed by the body-power of texts and employing certain of the Aristotelian protocols, to venture an approach to the Gospel of Mark as an Aristotelian tragedy, and one that may possess a contemporary relevance.

Includes bibliographical references (pages 249-292).