The Ancient Library

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songs ; the last divided into the parode and stasi-inon. The irp6\6yo$ is all that part of a tragedy which precedes the parodos of the chorus, i. e. the first act. The tTrtivodiov is all the part between whole choral odes. The e£o5os that part which has no choral ode after it. Of the choral part the irdpotios is the iirst speech of the whole chorus (not broken up into parts): the stasimon is without anapaests and trochees. These two divisions were sung by all the choreutae (kolvol airou/TO)!/), but the " songs on the stage " and the ko^ol by a part only (i'Sia Se to, airb ttjs ffityvris Kal ko/x^oi). The comnius, which properly means a wailing for' the dead, was generally used to express strong ex­citement, or lively sympathy with grief and suffer­ing, especially by Aeschylus. It was common to the actors and a portion only of the chorus (/co/Xjubs Se &ptjvos, icoivbs xopoO, Kal airo averts), whence its derivative Kop.iJLa.TiKa. is used to designate broken and interrupted songs Sung either by indi-\7idual choreutae or divisions of the chorus. (Mul-ler, Eumen. p. 84.) Again the irdpoSos was so named as being the passage-song of the chorus sung while it was advancing to its proper place in the orchestra, and therefore in ariapaestic or march­ing verse : the (TTacn/xoz/, as being chaunted by the chorus when standing still in its proper position. (Suid. and Etym. Magn.)

With respect to the ends of purposes of Tragedy, Aristotle observes that they are best effected by the representation of a cha'nge of fortune from prosperity to adversity, happening to a person neither eminently virtuous nor just, nor yet in­volved in misfortune1 by deliberate vice or villany, but by some error of human frailty, and that he should also be a person of high fame and eminent prosperity, like Oedipus or Thyestes. Hence, he adds, Euripides is not censurable, as is generally supposed ; for tragedies with an unhappy termina­tion like his, have always the most tragic effect ; and Euripides is the most tragic of all poets, i. e. succeeds best in producing pity: an expression especially true of some scenes in the Medea. In Aeschylus, the feelings of pity and melancholy interest are generally excited by the relation in which his heroes stand to destiny. He mostly represents them as vainly struggling against a blind but irresistible fate, to whose power (ac­cording to the old Homeric notion) even the father of gods and men is forced to yield, and it is only occasionally, as in the splendid chorus of the Eume-nides (522), that we trace in him any intimations of a moral and retributive government of the world. Hence there is a want of moral lessons in his works. In Sophocles, on the contrary, we see indications of a different tone of thought, and the superintendence of a directing a'nd controlling power is distinctly recognized : ^ the great Zeus in heaven, who superintends and directs all things." (Electr. 174; Thirl wall, Phil. Mus. vol. ii. p. 492.)

The materials of Greek tragedy were the national mythology,

" Presenting Thebes, or Pelops' line, Or the tale of Troy divine."

The exceptions to this were the two historical tragedies, the " Capture of Miletiis,^ by Phiyni-chus, and the " Persians " of Aeschylus ; but they belong to an early period of the art. Hence the plot and story of the Grecian tragedy were of necessity known to the spectators, a circumstance


which strongly distinguishes the ancient tragedy from the modern, and to which is owing in some measure the practical and quiet irony in the hand­ling of a subject, described by Thirl Wall (Phil* Mus. ii. p. 483, &c<) as a characteristic of the tragedy of Sophocles*

The functions of the Chorus in Greek Tragedy were very important, as described by Horace (A?\ Poet.

" Actoris partes chorus officiumque virile Defendat : neu quid medios intercina,t actus, Quod non proposito conducatj e't haereat apte,"&c.

We must conceive of it, says A. W. Schlegel, as the personification of the thought inspired by the represented action ; in other words, it often ex­presses the reflections of a dispassionate and right-minded spectator, and. inculcates the lessons of mo­rality and resignation to the will of heaven, taught by the occurrence of the piece in which it is en­gaged. Besides this, the chorus enabled a poet to produce an image of the '* council of elders," which existed under the heroic governments^ and under whose advice and in whose presence the ancient princes of the Greek tragedy generally acted. This image was the more striking and vivid, inas­much as the chorus was taken from the people at large, and did riot at all differ from the appearance and stature of ordinary men ; so that the contrast or relation between them and the actors was the same as that of the Homeric Aaoi and cmx/cres. Lastly, the choral songs produced an agreeable pause in the action, breaking the piece into parts, while they presented to the spectator a lyrical and musical expression of his own emotions, or suggested to him lofty thoughts and great argu­ments. /\.s Schlegel says, the chorus was the spectator idealised. With respect to the number of the chorus, Mtiller (Lit. of Greece, 300) thinks that out of the dithyrambic chorus .of 50 a quad­rangular chorus of 48 persons was first formed, and that this was divided into sets of 1 2, one for each play of a tetraloge ; but in the time of So­phocles, the; tragic chorus amounted to 15, a number which the ancient grammarians always presuppose in speaking of its arrangements, though it might be that the form of the Aeschylean tra­gedy afterwards became obsolete.

The preceding account should be read in connec­tion with the articles chorus, dionysia, histkio, and THEATittJiii.

The explanation of the following phrases may be useful.

TIapax dp-fiyyiiia, : this word was -used in case of a fourth actor appearing on the stage ; probably because the choragus was required to be at an extra expense in supplying him with costume, &c. ; sometimes actors so called spoke,; as the character of Pylades, does (Aesch. CJhosph. 900—902) ; sometimes they were mutes.

TiapaorK'fiVLov : this phrase was used when one of the choreutae spoke in song, instead of a fourth actor,, probably near or behind the side-scenes. IlapTiyop^fjiaTa were voices off the stage, and not seen, as the frogs in the Ranae. (Pollux, iv. 109 ; Sehol. in Aristoph. Pac. 113.)

napaxwpr^iaTct, persons who came forward but once, something like the irpoffwira. irporariKd, or introductory persons who open a drama and never appear again ; as the watchman in the Agamem­non, and Polydorus in the Hecuba. Terence also

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