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Euripides’ New Song: The First Stasimon Of Trojan Women

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Chapter Summary

Euripides has put into the mouth of his chorus an opening to an epic song which neither they, as captive Trojan women, nor he, as tragic poet, is in a position to perform. One of the salient features of the "dithyrambic stasima," of which Troades 511-567 is supposedly the first, is their self-contained character, whereas the earliest tragic lyrics to which one have access are anything but self-contained. This chapter concerns itself with an examination of the way in which Euripides has constructed this song as a means of focusing on the Iliadic elements of the stasimon and relating those elements to the trilogy as a whole. Euripides' audience was quite familiar with an incident from the epic past in which ships were hauled down to the sea in an atmosphere of rejoicing, namely the deceptive testing of the troops in Iliad.

Keywords: Euripides' new song; Iliad; stasimon; Trojan women



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