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The Tangled Ways of ZeusAnd Other Studies In and Around Greek Tragedy$
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Alan H. Sommerstein

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199568314

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199568314.001.0001

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The titles of Greek dramas

The titles of Greek dramas

Chapter:
(p.11) 1 The titles of Greek dramas
Source:
The Tangled Ways of Zeus
Author(s):

Alan H. Sommerstein (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199568314.003.0002

This chapter argues that the titles now attached to Greek tragedies, comedies, and satyr-dramas (but not the ‘sur-titles’ or epithets used to distinguish plays of the same name) were given to them at the time of production and recorded in state-held archives, except for plays produced before about 450 BC that formed part of connected suites (trilogies or tetralogies). After about 450 the titles were publicly announced in advance of performance, and dramatists exploited them either to inform the audience about the content of a play or else to keep them guessing about it (often wrongly) before the performance and in its early scenes.

Keywords:   tragedy, comedy, satyr-drama, titles, trilogy, audience

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