Timeless By Definition

“Classics escape the prison of time. Whichever their era, they belong to every other era. People talk of ‘contemporary classics’ but the phrase is tautologous: classics are contemporary by definition. The bad director of an ancient Greek tragedy batters us with parallels to the present day; the good director lets the echoes reverberate for themselves. The classic doesn’t have a sell-by date. If it did, it wouldn’t be a classic.” Still, that timeless aspect is what makes the classics so difficult to stage, and so confounding to bring to a modern audience.