Abstract

This article examines how lament in Greek tragedy is conceptualized as both highly skillful song and inarticulate noise, and how the slippage between these two apparently contradictory characteristics could be exploited for dramatic effect. I demonstrate how the twofold nature of lament is bound up not just with its ritual practice (the combination of the góos wail and the more formal thrēnos) but with its association with birdsong and displays of extreme emotion by females and foreigners.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-3168
Print ISSN
0002-9475
Pages
pp. 243-266
Launched on MUSE
2017-08-08
Open Access
No
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