Euripides and early Greek poetics: the tragedian as critic

Journal of Hellenic Studies 130:165-184 (2010)
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This article examines the place of tragic poetry within the early history and development of ancient literary criticism. It concentrates on Euripides, both because his works contain many more literary-critical reflections than those of the other tragedians and because he has been thought to possess an unusually 'critical' outlook. Euripidean characters and choruses talk about such matters as poetic skill and inspiration, the social function of poetry, contexts for performance, literary and rhetorical culture, and novelty as an implied criterion for judging literary excellence. It is argued that the implied view of literature which emerges from Euripidean tragedy is both coherent and conventional. As a critic, Euripides, far from being a radical or aggressively modern figure (as he is often portrayed), is in fact distinctly conservative, looking back in every respect to the earlier Greek poetic tradition



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References found in this work

Preface to Plato.Friedrich Solmsen & Eric A. Havelock - 1966 - American Journal of Philology 87 (1):99.
Tragedy and Trugedy.O. Taplin - 1983 - Classical Quarterly 33 (02):331-.
The Dramatic Festivals of Athens.Margarete Bieber & Arthur Pickard-Cambridge - 1954 - American Journal of Philology 75 (3):306.
Euripides' Electra: the recognition scene again.M. Davies - 1998 - Classical Quarterly 48 (02):389-403.

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