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The Metamorphoses of Ancient Myths

Edited By 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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Greek Myths in the Hypotheseis of Tragedy of the Classical Period (Katarzyna Chiżyńska)


Katarzyna Chiżyńska*

Greek Myths in the Hypotheseis of Tragedy of the Classical Period1

Abstract: The article focuses on the ancient Greek hypotheseis, i.e. summaries of ancient dramas, written by ancient and medieval scholars and researchers. The first part of the article presents the nature of hypotheseis as a meta-textual characteristic of the ancient drama. The analysis scrutinises the form, structure and substantive content of summaries. The differences between hypotheseis and various dramatic genres are also discussed. The second part of the article brings examples of selected summaries of ancient Greek tragedies in which the themes from the most popular myths were used. This rendered it possible to analyse the similarities and differences between individual hypotheseis related to the same mythical story, e.g. the myth on the House of Atreus. In the course of the analysis, it was possible to demonstrate what constituents of the plot and action individual authors of summaries considered most significant, what traits of mythical heroes they perceived as worth mentioning, and what was their personal attitude towards any given poet. The analysis of the constituents exposed by the authors of hypotheseis can also comprise an attempt to interpret the story presented by the poet.

Keywords: ancient Greek tragedy, ancient Greek theatre, ancient Greek myths, hypothesis

Part I.

The Greek word hypothesis, in its almost unaltered form, entered most of Indo-European languages (cf. English: hypothesis, German: Hypothese, Czech: hypotéza, French: hypothèse, Spanish: hip...

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