Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Hostname: page-component-5d59c44645-ndqjc Total loading time: 0 Render date: 2024-02-26T15:08:41.097Z Has data issue: false hasContentIssue false

4 - Orestes

Monody As Messenger Speech

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  27 July 2023

Claire Catenaccio
Affiliation:
Georgetown University, Washington DC
Get access

Summary

Euripides’ Orestes, produced in 408 BCE, stands as the culmination of a decade of experimentation with monody as a versatile dramatic form. At the climax of the play, the disappearance of Helen is reported not by a messenger in an iambic rhesis, but by an anonymous Phrygian slave in a virtuosic monody that is twice as long as all the combined songs of the chorus. The tonal and rhetorical ambiguities in the Phrygian’s song underscore the increasing fragmentation and chaos of the plot. This monody overturns the expectations of the audience through its combination of the traditionally antithetical genres of monody and messenger speech. The Phrygian is an unprecedented type of narrator in tragedy, offering instead of an objective reporting of events a “polyphonic” account that draws on multiple genres and styles.

Type
Chapter
Information
Monody in Euripides
Character and the Liberation of Form in Late Greek Tragedy
, pp. 157 - 186
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2023

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)

Save book to Kindle

To save this book to your Kindle, first ensure coreplatform@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about saving to your Kindle.

Note you can select to save to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be saved to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

  • Orestes
  • Claire Catenaccio, Georgetown University, Washington DC
  • Book: Monody in Euripides
  • Online publication: 27 July 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009300179.005
Available formats
×

Save book to Dropbox

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Dropbox.

  • Orestes
  • Claire Catenaccio, Georgetown University, Washington DC
  • Book: Monody in Euripides
  • Online publication: 27 July 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009300179.005
Available formats
×

Save book to Google Drive

To save content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about saving content to Google Drive.

  • Orestes
  • Claire Catenaccio, Georgetown University, Washington DC
  • Book: Monody in Euripides
  • Online publication: 27 July 2023
  • Chapter DOI: https://doi.org/10.1017/9781009300179.005
Available formats
×