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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp018336h191n

Title: The Chorus in Dialogue: Reading Lyric Exchanges in Greek Tragedy
Authors: Andujar, Rosa Margarita
Advisors: Ford, Andrew L.
Contributors: Classics Department
Keywords: Greek chorus
Greek Tragedy
Mourning
Subjects: Classical literature
Theater history
Classical studies
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: From the "Ode to Man" to songs of praise, the Greek tragic chorus are readily associated with the odes that they sing. Critical accounts, however, overlook their performances in a different mode: lyric dialogues in which they engage with actors through song or a lyrical mixture blending speech. In this dissertation, I argue that these exchanges were sites of active and self-conscious experimentation in fifth-century Athenian tragedy, in which tragedians not only tested the performative capabilities of both chorus and actor but also explored the conditions under which interactions between a group and an individual succeeded or failed. In addition to defining and providing a taxonomy of lyric dialogues, I show that these exchanges, which blend choral and solo voices in song at critical junctures in the plot, tend either to dramatize reactions to horrific revelations or to reenact ritual laments for the dead. In both cases the tragedians stretch the boundaries of dialogue, often by staging curious exchanges that blend song and speech, at times even reversing the fundamental tragic pattern of speaking actor and singing chorus. These highly emotionally charged dialogues provide an opportunity to study how tragedy represents the strains placed on interpersonal communication, in particular the expression of strong emotion in a communal setting, while at the same time allowing us to see the experimental and self-reflexive nature of the genre. Combining philological attention to the theatrical and metrical qualities of these moments with the insights of social theory and performance studies, I argue that their frequency and dramatic sophistication suggest a persistent interest among the tragedians in the conditions under which a group and an individual are able to communicate and successfully perform rituals. I contend that the questions of communicative and ritualized action explored in these moments capture tensions fundamental both to Greek theatre and to the emerging Athenian democracy.
URI: http://arks.princeton.edu/ark:/88435/dsp018336h191n
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog: http://catalog.princeton.edu/
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Classics

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