Sound, sense and rhythm: listening to Greek and Latin poetry

TitleSound, sense and rhythm: listening to Greek and Latin poetry
Publication TypeBook
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsEdwards, MW
Ancient AuthorsAeschylus Trag. (TLG 0085)
Number of Pagesxi + 191 pp.
PublisherPrinceton University Press
ISBN9780691117843 (pb); 9781400824830 (ebook)
KeywordsEschilo, metrica, rapporto parola/musica, ritmo

This book concerns the way we read--or rather, imagine we are listening to--ancient Greek and Latin poetry. Through clear and penetrating analysis Mark Edwards shows how an understanding of the effects of word order and meter is vital for appreciating the meaning of classical poetry, composed for listening audiences.

The first of four chapters examines Homer's emphasis of certain words by their positioning; a passage from the Iliad is analyzed, and a poem of Tennyson illustrates English parallels. The second considers Homer's techniques of disguising the break in the narrative when changing a scene's location or characters, to maintain his audience's attention. In the third we learn, partly through an English translation matching the rhythm, how Aeschylus chose and adapted meters to arouse listeners' emotions. The final chapter examines how Latin poets, particularly Propertius, infused their language with ambiguities and multiple meanings. An appendix examines the use of classical meters by twentieth-century American and English poets. []


Chapter 3: 'Music and meaning in three songs of Aeschylus'


BMCR 2003.04.04 Michael W. Haslam; NECJ 2003 30 (1): 47-50 Cashman Kerr Prince; Ordia prima 2005 4: 225-227 Julián Aubrit; CW 2005-2006 99 (2): 190-192 Rachel Kitzinger; Phoenix 2004 58 (3-4): 360-362 Rory B. Egan

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