Ekkyklema  

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 This page Ekkyklema is part of the performance series. Illustration:Theatrum Orbi engraving by Theodor de Bry from the chapter on Ars Memoriae in Utriusque cosmi maioris scilicet et minoris metaphysica by Robert Fludd.
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This page Ekkyklema is part of the performance series.
Illustration:Theatrum Orbi engraving by Theodor de Bry from the chapter on Ars Memoriae in Utriusque cosmi maioris scilicet et minoris metaphysica by Robert Fludd.

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.

An ekkyklêma ("roll-out machine") was a wheeled platform rolled out through a skênê in ancient Greek theatre. It was used to bring interior scenes out into the sight of the audience. Some ancient sources suggest that it may have been revolved or turned. It can be considered as an early form of the tableau vivant.

It is mainly used in tragedies for revealing dead bodies, such as Hippolytus' dying body in the final scene of Euripides' Hippolytus, or the corpse of Eurydice draped over the household altar in Sophocles' Antigone. Other uses include the revelation in Sophocles' Ajax of Ajax surrounded by the sheep he killed whilst under the delusion that they were Greeks. The ekkyklêma is also used in comedy to parody the tragic effect. An example of this is in Aristophanes' Thesmophoriazusae when Agathon, portrayed as an effeminate, is wheeled onstage on an ekkyklêma to enhance the comic absurdity of the scene.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Ekkyklema" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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