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The Experience of PoetryFrom Homer's Listeners to Shakespeare's Readers$
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Derek Attridge

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780198833154

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198833154.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 17 January 2022

Archaic to Classical Greece: Festivals and Rhapsodes

Archaic to Classical Greece: Festivals and Rhapsodes

(p.35) 2 Archaic to Classical Greece: Festivals and Rhapsodes
The Experience of Poetry

Derek Attridge

Oxford University Press

Some of the so-called Homeric Hymns, dating from the seventh century bc, provide evidence of poetic performance at festivals in Greece. Alongside the sung hexameter epics, two other verse traditions appear to have been recited without music: iambics and elegiacs, both of which were used in public performances. We hear of a new kind of recited performance in the sixth century, that of the rhapsode, the fullest account of which (admittedly from a hostile perspective) is that given by Plato in the Ion. This chapter discusses the figure of the rhapsode, and the significance of a performance tradition in which a fixed text is used, perhaps with the aid of a written script. The chapter ends with a consideration of Plato’s hostility to poetry and Aristotle’s response to his arguments.

Keywords:   Homeric hymns, festival, hexameter, iambic, elegiac, performance, rhapsode, Plato, Ion

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