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Distribution of Narrative Activity

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Chapter Summary

Narratological theory distinguishes the functions of narrator and narratee. As narrative stichomythia is a narrative embedded within a play, it is important to clarify in advance all levels of communicative interaction and their agents. Application of the functions of narrator and narratee to narrative stichomythia is complicated by the dialogic nature of this type of narrative. This chapter discusses a narratological approach to narrative stichomythia, a type of stichomythia that has generally been considered especially problematic. In particular, it locates narrative activity in it by using typologies of questions and answers. The distribution of narrative activity between questioner and answerer is intricately connected with the dramatic context. As such the interlocutors' communicative behaviour in narrative stichomythic dialogue may reflect not only their communicative purpose in that particular dialogue, but also their character and behaviour in general in the play under discussion.

Keywords: dramatic context; Euripidean tragedy; narrative stichomythia; narratological theory



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