From Homer to Menander: Forces in Greek Poetic Fiction

By L. A. Post | Go to book overview

III
The Social Consciousness
of Aeschylus

THERE IS a gap of at least two centuries between Homer and Aeschylus. With Aeschylus we are within the frame of recorded history. He helped to make history at Marathon, as he boasted in his epitaph; and his account of the struggle at Salamis in his Persians is our most trustworthy historical source for the battle that turned the tide against Xerxes in 480 B.C. He did not boast of his tragedies, of which there were at least sixty, for he had dedicated them to time. They continued to be performed by special regulation at Athens after his death. Actually he was, more than any one man after Homer, the inventor of tragedy, since he first gave the actors more to say than the chorus and increased their number. The grandeur of story and diction that Aristotle also requires for tragedy can be seen in his seven extant plays.

The influence of Homer on tragedy is often underestimated. The appearance of gods, whether at beginning or end, or as actors in a play, needs no other explanation than Homer's use of the gods as symbols or as machinery. Even the choruses in tragedy have their counterparts in Homer. Consider what Aeschylus has done in recasting the story of Achilles from the Iliad. In the three plays of his trilogy he used choruses of Myrmidons, Nereids, and Phrygians, that is, Trojans. The Myrmidons do not speak, but are described collectively, in Homer. Aeschylus had only to make them vocal and to let them be present when the death of Patroclus was reported. So with the Nereids; they accompany Thetis as a wailing chorus when she goes to help her son. They have no words, though their names are given. Aeschylus presumably kept them

-56-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
From Homer to Menander: Forces in Greek Poetic Fiction
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 333

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.