personnage

Alexander the Great

Ἀλέξανδρος ὁ Μέγας (Aléxandros ho Mégas )

Country

Greece

Greek shadow puppet theatre character. Alexander the Great appeared in the karaghiozis (Modern Greek: Καραγκιόζης) at the end of the 19th century, a fine example of the syncretic Hellenization of the genre: the “Christianized” Alexander is a link between Greece, Christianity, and those people who see themselves as virtuous, capable of vanquishing evil and the enemy that could work against/damage the very idea of Hellenism.

Alexander the Great and the Cursed Serpent (Modern Greek: Ο Μέγας Αλέξανδρος και το καταραμένο φίδι) is a play inspired by both mythology and history, which is strange when viewed against the ordinary everyday stories enacted by the karaghiozis. The importance of the piece does not lie in the scenario; and the comedy and the derision are not its sole virtues. Alexander the Great, aglow with all the qualities attributed to him in Greek folk literature, is also a substitute for Saint George conquering the Dragon, the noble hero of Christian mythology, who himself comes from a long tradition of ancient heroes among whom Perseus and Andromeda are classical examples. It is not surprising that this play was extremely popular during World War II and the German occupation and, more recently, during the military dictatorship.

(See Greece.)