Understanding Lyric Genres

L. A. Swift

in The Hidden Chorus

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780199577842
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191722622 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Classical Monographs

Understanding Lyric Genres

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This chapter discusses the methodological difficulties of defining Greek lyric genres and sets out a methodology for understanding lyric genres, influenced by contemporary genre‐theory and by the works of Wittgenstein. It argues for a functionally driven approach to lyric, deriving from the poetry's performance context, and suggests that genres should be understood as functional cores around which conventional features accumulate. The chapter also gives an overview of how generic interaction works in tragedy and discusses the range of ways in which a tragedy can allude to a lyric genre. In discussing why certain genres were selected for the book, particular attention is paid to dithyrambos, which it is argued is fundamentally distinct from other types of ritual poetry.

Keywords: genre; theory; methodology; lyric; Wittgenstein; performance function; tragedy; dithyrambos

Chapter.  11341 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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