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Sophocles Trachiniae 1-48, Euripidean Prologues, And Their Audiences

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Chapter Summary

In this paper, the author discusses two (groups of) dramatic texts which are generally considered monologues: Sophocles Trachiniae 1-48 and Euripidean prologues. Using a combined set of narratological and linguistic criteria he points out a considerable number of signs of the narratee, which make the qualification of monologue questionable. In the case of the Trachiniae the allusive narrative style, clearly meant for an insider, and the presence of the Nurse on stage, who moreover in her opening speech reacts to Deanira’s words, suggest that Deanira’s speech is part of a dialogue and that she expects the Nurse to identify with this narratee. In the case of Euripidean prologues their detailed nature and the absence of possible interlocutors on stage points at the spectators as the ones who are supposed to identify with this narratee. Rather than monologues tout court he suggests to call Euripidean prologues ‘diaphonic’ monologues.

Keywords: Deanira; Euripidean prologues; linguistic criteria; narratological criteria; Sophocles Trachiniae



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