Genres of Poetry

Andrew Ford

in Aristotle as Poet

Published in print April 2011 | ISBN: 9780199733293
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918539 | DOI:
Genres of Poetry

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This chapter turns to questions of genre in the first instance to understand the cultural context in which a person could be charged with impiety for composing a hymn to a friend. Greek poetic genres are presented not as purely academic concepts but as embodying powerful cultural values and expectations that could determine the meanings of songs and govern their circulation through society. The chapter surveys the main ways of identifying kinds of lyric poetry that were developed the archaic age to Hellenistic scholarship in order to understand the literary critical background to the trial. Establishing a view of genres not as sets of rules but as negotiable ideals, It is argued that, once removed from its original performative context, Aristotle’s song could change its genre in reperformance and be used as a hymn, a paean, or a sympotic song (a skolion).

Keywords: genre; paean; refrain; epinician; encomium; Skolion; Alexandrian scholarship

Chapter.  7260 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

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