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The Parodos Of Euripides’ Helen (164–90)

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Chapter Summary

The friendly expatriate ladies of the chorus in Helen enter having heard loud lamentation issuing from the palace. The chapter shows that Parodos has an incorrect, though not irrational, colometry which features several iambic metra beginning with long anceps. The blasphemous paradox of using παιάν in reference to a dirge is quite frequent in tragedy, but it was still a paradox of the kind that Euripides habitually developed with a negating adjective. The assumption of a (distressed) νύμφη is more immediately justified by the following simile like a fugitive Naiad (nymph) . Euripides is wittily playing on different senses of νύμφη in a highly sophisticated comparison.

Keywords: Euripides; extant tragedy; Helen; Parodos



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