Gwyneth Lewis – further discussion


Gwyneth Lewis’ workshop gave a new perspective to her Clytemnestra and as such, there will be a rescreening of the play in Week 11.


I think one of the most interesting things that I took away from her talk was the relationship between speech and characterisation, something that Gwyneth got us to replicate in our own short character monologues. While most of her characters speak in iambic tetrametre (four beats), the regality of Agamemnon came through by his speaking in iambic pentametre (the metre of Shakespeare). Electra, demonstrative of her character, speaks plainly; while Cassandra speaks poetically.


Psychological realism cropped up again, as it did with Catherine Edwards, and is something that certainly sets contemporary receptions apart from their classical sources. Gwyneth spoke about the necessity of establishing ‘why the characters do what they do’ and, perhaps reflective of her day-job as a poet, making sure that every word has its place within the larger schema of the play. Before including a character in Clytemnestra, Gwyneth spoke about the need to establish their biography.


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