The Songs of Aristophanes

The Songs of Aristophanes

The Songs of Aristophanes

The Songs of Aristophanes

Synopsis

Aristophanes' comedies were as much musical as dramatic performances. The scores from these performances are lost, and the only way of recovering a sense of what the Athenian audience experienced is to study the rhythms of Aristophanes' poetry. His lyric verse covers a wide range of styles--from popular song to parody of tragedy. in this book, L.P.E. Parker provides a full text, with scansion, of the surviving plays' lyrics, and an introduction to the different rhythms used by Aristophanes, their origins, and literary associations. Parker emphasizes the role played by lyric meter in dramatic architecture and distinguishes the different levels of musical style. In this way, Parker illustrates meter's centrality in Aristophanes' dramatic art and satire.

Excerpt

The prime reason for studying metre is to enrich our literary appreciation and understanding of ancient poetry, and I should like this book above all to make more accessible to readers of Aristophanes an aspect of his art that is generally regarded as technical and difficult, and is, in consequence, often neglected. the text and commentary are arranged play by play, and I have sought to show the role played by lyric metres in dramatic structure, to distinguish levels of metrical style, and to draw attention to the affinities and significance of different types of rhythm. in commenting on each passage, I have started with observations of literary significance, and anyone who does not wish to pursue the technicalities of metre and text need read no further. Only in a few passages has it proved impossible to separate literary and textual discussion. There is, I have no doubt, much more to be observed about the aesthetic role of metre in the plays, and I hope that the book will serve as an enabling tool to more talented critics than myself.

The metrical introduction is designed specifically as a guide to the structures and history of the various metres used by Aristophanes. But much of Aristophanes' lyric is metrically quite simple, and I hope that the book will be of more general use not only to mature scholars but to younger students of Greek poetry, for whom the introduction and scansions may provide a practical introduction to Greek lyric metre.

The importance of metre to textual criticism is, of course, well recognized. With that in mind, I have provided fuller textual notes than are usually found in editions of cantica. My text is also, generally, conservative--more so than might be thought desirable in a 'reading' edition. I have often refrained from introducing attractive conjectures the better to show what is actually in the mss. I have, however, adopted simple conjectures, and 'also some more elaborate ones, where that seemed the best way to show the metrical improvements they produce. the book is not, however, meant to take the place of a critical edition, but to offer . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.