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Song As Knowledge: Recognition Duets

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Chapter Summary

In the overall corpus of Euripides, one is more likely to hear a woman sing than a man, both in the sense that women have more singing lines, and that women spend almost a fourth of their time on stage singing, while men spend less than one-fourteenth. This chapter examines Euripides' recognition duets, a unique test case because their structure invariably juxtaposes a singing woman against a speaking man. In these duets, women re-live moments of rape, childbirth, and abduction-physical sufferings which their male interlocutors need to learn about, but can never experience themselves. In order to examine and unpack this apparently conventional metrical division, we need a useful lens.

Keywords: duets; Euripides; song

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