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Sunday March 17 | Session 10:45 - 12:15 (15 min)
De Brakke Grond | Rode Zaal
Machiavelli’s comedy The Mandrake is usually read in the light of his famous treatise The Prince, a movement that usually gestures the primacy of philosophy, over theater and by the some token, of arguments and clarity, over ambiguity and performance.

Subverting this relation, I look at The Prince in the light of The Mandrake, which yields the question: if The Mandrake is a comedy, is The Prince a tragedy? My answer is yes. In this context, I address The Prince by means of comparison with Ancient Greek tragedies, tragedies from the Renaissance, and the performance of both which yields an understanding of tragedy that defies prevailing conceptions of tragedy that stem from both Renaissance and post-Renaissance readings of Aristotle’s Poetics.

The result is that The Prince, contrary to long lasting debates, is not a clear cut philosophical treatise that gives answers. On the contrary, like tragedy, and more broadly theater, it presents the ambiguity that philosophy has been trying to get rid of since Plato banned the poets from the ideal city.

Teresa Casas Hernández, originally from Manresa, is a New York based actress and PhD candidate in Philosophy at the New School for Social Research where she works under Chiara Bottici’s and Simon Critchley’s supervision. She is working on the intersection between philosophy and theater with the aim to bring into philosophical discussion elements that have been banned from philosophy since Plato banned the poets from the idea city—vividness, evanescence, and copresence. Fellowship from La Caixa made possible her M.A at the NSSR. Her current PhD research is possible thanks to The Onassis Foundation Fellowship in Ancient Greek Studies.
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