Choral Mediations in Greek Tragedy

Choral Mediations in Greek Tragedy


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This volume explores how the choruses of Greek tragedy creatively combined media and discourses to generate their own specific forms of meaning. The contributors analyse choruses as fictional, religious and civic performers; as combinations of text, song and dance; and as objects of reflection in themselves, in relation and contrast to the choruses of comedy and melic poetry. Drawing on earlier analyses of the social context of Greek drama, the non-textual dimensions of tragedy, and the relations between dramatic and melic choruses, the chapters explore the uses of various analytic tools in allowing us better to capture the specificity of the tragic chorus. Special attention is given to the physicality of choral dancing, musical interactions between choruses and actors, the trajectories of reception, and the treatment of time and space in the odes.

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Product details

  • Hardback | 440 pages
  • 160 x 230 x 36mm | 779.99g
  • Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 5 b/w illus. 3 maps
  • 1107033284
  • 9781107033283
  • 1,553,297

Review quote

'Excellent ... offers a sophisticated exploration of both the richness and the strangeness of the chorus as a phenomenon of ancient Greek culture.' The Times Literary Supplement '... the elasticity of [its] approach allows the book to offer sixteen diverse but uniformly rich essays that show how the chorus is a mediating figure for scholarly interests as much as it was a figure of shifting meanings on the Athenian stage for its inventors, performers, and observers.' Sarah Nooter, Bryn Mawr Classical Review

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Table of contents

1. Introduction: the chorus in the middle Renaud Gagne and Marianne Hopman; 2. Choral polyphony and the ritual functions of tragic songs Claude Calame; 3. Chorus, conflict, closure in Aeschylus' Persians Marianne Hopman; 4. Choral intertemporality in the Oresteia Jonas Grethlein; 5. Choreography: the lyric voice of Sophoclean tragedy Simon Goldhill; 6. Conflicting identities in the Euripidean chorus Laura Swift; 7. The choral plot of Euripides' Helen Sheila Murnaghan; 8. Transcultural chorality: Iphigenia in Tauris and Athenian imperial economics Barbara Kowalzig; 9. Maenadism as self-referential chorality in Euripides' Bacchae Anton Bierl; 10. The Delian maidens and their relevance to choral mimesis in Classical drama Gregory Nagy; 11. Choral persuasions in Plato's Laws Lucia Prauscello; 12. The comic chorus and the demagogue Jeffrey Henderson; 13. Dancing letters: the Alphabetic Tragedy of Kallias Renaud Gagne; 14. Choral dialectics: Holderlin and Hegel Joshua Billings; 15. Enter and exit the chorus: dance in Britain, 1880-1914 Fiona Macintosh; 16. 'The thorniest problem and the greatest opportunity': directors on directing the Greek chorus Peter Meineck.

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About Renaud Gagné

Renaud Gagne is a University Lecturer in Classics at the University of Cambridge and a Fellow of Pembroke College. His main research interests are early Greek poetry and Greek religion. He is a co-editor of Sacrifices humains. Perspectives croisees et representations (2013) and the author of Ancestral Fault in Ancient Greece (Cambridge, 2013). Marianne Govers Hopman is Associate Professor of Classics and Comparative Literary Studies at Northwestern University, where she specialises in ancient Greek and Latin poetry and mythology. Her publications include articles on Homer, Greek tragedy, Greek hymns and Roman satire, and a book, Scylla: Myth, Metaphor, Paradox (2013).

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