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The Hidden ChorusEchoes of Genre in Tragic Lyric$
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L. A. Swift

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199577842

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199577842.001.0001

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(p.61) 3 Paian
The Hidden Chorus

L. A. Swift

Oxford University Press

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

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