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The Metamorphoses of Ancient Myths

Malgorzata Budzowska, Burc Idem Dincel, Jadwiga Czerwinska and Katarzyna Chizynska

This book gives a comprehensive overview of the phenomenon of artistic dialogue with ancient myths. The contributions assume a double-track research approach. The contributors investigate the procedure of myths' recycling within Greco-Roman antiquity, and they consider modern re-occupations of myths in dramatic literature and theatre. Providing various examples of myths' reception from antiquity to present days, this book confirms the persistent human need of re-mythization.

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Myth in Greek Drama of Classical Greece in the Light of Scholia (Jadwiga Czerwińska)


Jadwiga Czerwińska*

Myth in Greek Drama of Classical Greece in the Light of Scholia1

Abstract: Relationships between myth and tragedy are particularly absorbing for researchers, considering the fact that dramatic plots were commonly based on mythical stories. Ancient playwrights employed traditional myths, however, they transformed them in order to develop their own creative intentions; in other words, they adapted myths to the logic of tragic drama. This procedure was extensively commented upon by ancient scholiasts. Scholia, considered as scientific literature, provide a significant research material to study the employment of myths by playwrights. In this article, the main analysis concerns two scholia (scholion from Scholia vetera ad Sophoclis Oedipum Tyrannum, line 8, and scholion from Scholia vetera ad Sophoclis Ajacem, line 1a), which epitomise the nature of commentaries regarding the relationships between myth and drama. These two commentaries deliver a lot of interesting remarks about myths, their usage by the poet, and the significance of incipits of tragedy in exposition of dramatic plots, which can be confirmed also in the case of other ancient playwrights. As such, scholia constitute a valuable source of knowledge about the ancient art of playwriting.

Keywords: Greek tragedy, scholia, myth

Greek dramas are commonly known mainly from preserved texts, which constitute the predominant material for their multifaceted interpretation, as well as research in dramatic arts, and the phenomenon of myth and its application by individual poets, which is of particular interest to this study. Nevertheless, scholia...

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