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Structure and Meter

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Chapter Summary

The structure of a fifth-century comedy arises from the interaction between chorus and actors. While the lyric (sung) parts belong to the chorus, the actors express themselves in the iambic trimeter and other spoken meters appropriate to their respective characters. The most remarkable constituent element of fifth-century comedy is the parabasis, an interlude in the action delivered by the chorus directly to the audience. The evocative effect of the meter is more widely employed in the parodies. Through specificmetrical forms, especially those uncommon in comedy, the parodied originals are called to the spectator's mind.

Keywords: epirrhematic structure; fifth-century comedy; Greek meter



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