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LANGUAGE AND METRICS

 

Ancient theater was born in Athens, therefore its language was the attic, although it was not the only one ever used. In the epic part of tragedy (prologos, epeissodia, exodos), is used the attic language. In the lyrics (parodos, stassima) is used the attic with many doric elements.

    Variant meters were being used in ancient theater :
  • The iambic trimetron was used in dialogic parts of the play
  • The trochaic tetrametron was also used sometimes in dialogs
  • The anapestic dimetron is used for parades and mournings. The chorus of Sophocles and Evripides was leaving the orchestra singing in anapestic meter.
  • The dactylic exameter : rarely used in some satyric dramas

 

The most common was the iambic trimetron. The iambos was made of two feet (two feet=one meter).

Schematic form of iambic trimetron :u=short syllable / _= long syllable

(u_ u_) (u/_ u/_) (u_ uu)