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Defining Greek Narrative$
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Douglas Cairns and Ruth Scodel

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780748680108

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748680108.001.0001

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Some Ancient Views on Narrative, its Structure and Working

Some Ancient Views on Narrative, its Structure and Working

(p.156) 8 Some Ancient Views on Narrative, its Structure and Working
Defining Greek Narrative

René Nünlist

Edinburgh University Press

A prominent characteristic of Greek narrative is the critical literature that reflected on it. The scholia especially can fill out the brief treatment of the narrative genre in Aristotle's Poetics Chapter 23. Despite their generic differences, epic and tragedy present similar narrative issues. Starting from question ‘where to begin?’ ancient critics discussed issues such as plot structure or the selection of suitable topics (what to include and omit). A related concern was how to create and maintain suspense (or put negatively: how to avoid boredom and surfeit; scholia contain practical recommendations on how to reach this goal. identify similiarities and differences in how this is done in each genre in general and in specific texts/plays in particular.

Keywords:   Aristotle, Scholia, Suspense, Plot, Tragedy

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