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The Experience of Poetry – From Homer's Listeners to Shakespeare's Readers - Oxford Scholarship Online
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The Experience of Poetry: From Homer's Listeners to Shakespeare's Readers

Derek Attridge


The question this book addresses is whether, in addition to its other roles, poetry—or a cultural practice we now call poetry—has, across the two-and-a-half millennia from the composition of the Homeric epics to the publication of Ben Jonson’s Works and the death of Shakespeare in 1616, continuously afforded the pleasurable experience we identify with the crafting of language into memorable and moving rhythmic forms. Parts I and II examine the evidence for the performance of the Iliad and the Odyssey and of Ancient Greek lyric poetry, the impact of the invention of writing on Alexandrian verse ... More

Keywords: poetry, audience, reader, orality, performance, rhythm, manuscript, papyrus, print

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2019 Print ISBN-13: 9780198833154
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198833154.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Derek Attridge, author
Emeritus Professor, University of York