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Chapter Summary

In a number of retrospective narratives, Aristophanes experiments with the blending of subsequent and simultaneous narration of the current situation, sometimes adding bits of stage-action to complement and complete the narrative. The sense that the retrospective narrative is just a necessary setting of the scene is thus mitigated, as past and present are intertwined. Most narratives are external retrospective ones, but he varies considerably the manner in which time is employed in order to maintain comic momentum, provide a dramatic climax, or involve the audience. The rhythm is again varied for comic purposes, and simultaneous narration provides a number of comic scenes. The delicacy and economy on display throughout are notable.

Keywords: Aristophanes; retrospective narratives; rhythm



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