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This quantity explores how the choruses of historic Greek tragedy creatively mixed media and discourses to generate their very own particular varieties of that means. The participants examine choruses as fictional, non secular and civic performers; as combos of textual content, music and dance; and as gadgets of mirrored image in themselves, in relation and distinction to the choruses of comedy and melic poetry. Drawing on previous analyses of the social context of Greek drama, the non-textual dimensions of tragedy, and the family among dramatic and melic choruses, the chapters discover the makes use of of assorted analytic instruments in permitting us higher to trap the specificity of the tragic refrain. certain recognition is given to the physicality of choral dancing, musical interactions among choruses and actors, the trajectories of reception, and the therapy of time and area within the odes.

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The specificity of tragic choral mediation can be understood much more sharply against the background of other non-tragic forms of choral mediation, both diachronically and synchronically. The lyric antecedents of the tragic chorus present us with particularly significant elements of comparison, contrast, and insights about the genesis of tragic chorality. The parallel, often radically different experiments of comedy with the dramatic chorus offer indispensable points of reference for considering the distinctive nature of the tragic experience.

Turning from Aeschylus to Sophocles, Si m o n Go l d h i l l argues in ‘Choreography: the lyric voice of Sophoclean tragedy’ that metre, especially the transition and juxtaposition between lyric voices and iambic voices, evidences the emotional, intellectual, and physical transitions enacted by the chorus in the course of a single drama. Through a reconstruction of the vocal score and soundscape of passages from Ajax, Electra, Oedipus Tyrannus, and Trachiniae, Goldhill shows how variations in the choral voice amount to a narrative that organises the interaction between chorus and actors: moving along constantly shifting lines, it oscillates between sympathy and distance, proximity and alienation, authoritative generalisation and character-led specificity.

The play, he argues, orchestrated an elaborate reflection on the nature of dramatic sound in its relation to writing, and opened a humorous perspective on the metrical syllabification of the choral ode – a literal deconstruction of the dramatic text, possibly one of the most radical experiments of paratragedy imagined in the classical period. The chapter looks at the specific role of the chorus as an instrument of poetic retrospection in the play, the various strategies deployed by the chorus of the parodic comedy to represent its tragic counterpart, and the spectacular staging of intermedial correspondences it set in motion.

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