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


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This chapter explores how Greek tragedy evokes the paean. The chapter begins with an investigation of the paean, a religious song associated with Apollo, establishing its function in society and common features. The chapter gives an overview of how the paean is deployed in Greek tragedy, before going on to examine two case‐studies in detail: Sophocles' Oedipus Tyrannus and Euripides' Ion. Both these plays evoke the paean regularly, and do so to enhance some of their central themes. In particular, both plays use paeanic imagery to highlight questions they raise about the role that the gods play in mortal affairs.

Keywords: paian; Sophocles; Euripides; Oedipus Tyrannus; Ion; Apollo; tragedy; gods

Chapter.  17548 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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