The city, at her process of constitution, introduces the tragedy as a social institution, with the establishment of tragic competition. Within thelimits of the city and according to the same institutional rules that are in effect for the churches or the courts of municipality, the city establishes a spectacle for all the citizens, which is directed, played and judged by their responsible representatives.
Thetragedy, enhancing the expression of conflict between mythic and religious traditions, and new forms of legal and political thought, uses the old rural myths and transforms them into theatrical action. With the dramatic fiction, tragedy places to examination the limits that constitute the concept of democratic city.
In contrastto the epic and lyric poetry, where the category of action is not formed, tragedy presents the mythic persons speaking and acting in front of the spectators. It does not present, however, their actions, which take place in an “avato” (inaccessible). The heroes will be supposed to come out of the “avato”, in order to reveal the results of their actions, and get judged by the whole city, which is represented by the non-individualised and anonymous chorus. This revelation, which presupposes the crossing, is fixed and realized by the threshold.
The threshold is introduced by tragedy in order to delimit the myth and break the continuity between the world of the myth and the world of the city. It constitutes the territorial tool that will give to the spectator the possibility of comparison between here and there, inside and outside, now and before. The threshold is established as a symbol, and simultaneously as a mediator of transition.
The substance of threshold creates the necessary scenic vocabulary to express, in the space of tragedy, the juxtaposition of the hero of fable (who has almost nothing in common with the usual condition of citizenship) with the chorus, who represents the people of the city and is constantly out of the House of hero.
The threshold of the House constitutes the intermediary area where these two worlds meet, collide and interact. It acquires, in this way, particular intensity and density, so much concerning space and persons, what concerning significances and questions that are placed there to examination, after it presents all problematic and places everything under contestation.
The threshold becomes thus a capacitor, which assembles all kinds of limits concerning the relationship of a person with gods, city, other persons and ultimately with himself. The relationship between the threshold and the person who crosses it or stands on it, illuminates so much the person what the issues concerning the limits of the law, the limits of power, the limits of the profanation that is involved in the detachment of the individual from the whole.