Musical Design in Sophoclean Theater cover Musical Design in Sophoclean Theater

William C. Scott

University Press of New England
Copyright © 1996 Trustees of Dartmouth College

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About the Book


William C. Scott extends concepts set forth in his Goodwin Award-winning Musical Design in Aeschylean Theater (1984) by examining scansion patterns in the odes of the seven surviving Sophoclean tragedies. Analyzing the play as performed-its full expression in words, music, and dance-Scott finds that Sophocles' metrical patterns are not a secondary detail of the plays but a central feature of their musical organization. Just as the playwright enhanced awareness of themes with a series of recurring and developing verbal images, he also designed the music to guide the audience's understanding of unfolding, often ambiguous events. The fabric of music and meaning is so tightly woven, Scott argues, that significant portions of the plays cannot be fully realized on stage unless the musical effects created by the poet are incorporated. While his work necessarily centers on the chorus, Scott carefully integrates that role into the meaning of the play as a whole, asserting that the chorus becomes a single persona, a character with partial knowledge, limited perspective, and inconsistent responses. The combination of words, meters, and forms provides a new perspective on each play.


About the Author


William C. Scott is emeritus professor of classics at Dartmouth College. His other publications include The Oral Nature of the Homeric Simile, The Artistry of the Homeric Simile, Plato's The Republic with Richard W. Sterling, and Musical Design in Aeschylean Theater.


About the Electronic Publication

This electronic publication of Musical Design in Sophoclean Theater was made possible with the permission of the author. The University Press of New England created EPUB and PDF files from a scanned copy of the book.


Rights Information

Published with permission of William C. Scott.

Dartmouth College Library assigns a Creative Commons BY-NC license to the digital work and associated web site.

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Bibliographic Information

Published by UPNE, Hanover, 1996.  ISBN :0874517397, 352 pages.
Print edition: PA4417 .S36 1996


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