This article looks and the constitutive relationships between historical performance conventions and the notion of the performative as a philosophical category. It does this through a reading of the genealogy of the term 'actor' from the Greek hypocrites to Brecht's dialectical actor. In turn it looks at the relationships between actors and politicians, and the complex interactions between tragedy and democracy. It draws on the idea of 'democracy as a tragic regime' (Castoriades) and proposes a reading of The Melian Dialogue from Thucydides 'Peloponnesian War' as a tragedy.
- actors and hypocrites