2 opens with a reference to the historical development of the genre it exemplifies, the celebrated circular chorus of classical Greece.
By the end of the 6th century BC, the dithyramb
was a fully recognized literary genre.
but also active on the Greek mainland, and an adversary of Euphorion).(11) blaming his contemporary Mnasalces of Sicyon for clumsily composing dithyrambs
in the manner of Simonides:
It has plenty of warfare, of course, but not much in the way of heroism; there is more bureaucrates than grandiloquence in the speeches of its leaders; and its chaotic pace would chew up any meter after a dithyramb
Sikelianos' tragedies--I Sivylla ("The Sibyl"), O Daidalos stin Kriti ("Daedalus in Crete"), O Khristos sti Romi ("Christ in Rome"), O thanatos tou Digeni ("The Death of Digenis"), and Asklipios ("Asclepius")--and the long dramatic poem O Dithyrambos tou Rhodou (The Dithyramb
of the Rose) are more notable for their lyric than their dramatic qualities.
In The Birth of Tragedy (1872), Nietzsche, too, argues that the Greek tragic chorus is initially comprised of satyrs who represent Dionysus in the springtime ritual of the Dithyramb
. This band of satyrs, Nietzsche suggests, roused both tragedy's audiences and dramatic characters to desire self-dissolution--reimmersion within the totality of undifferentiated life that Harrison describes.
Also associated with poetic talent was Arion, a Dionysiac poet who supposedly invented the dithyramb
and who was rescued by a dolphin who was seduced by his music: "y segunda el Delfin te fuera humano" (l.4).
In a poignant reverie, he wonders about such consequences for his high school mate: "if he had to marry / what [he] sold [his] soul for." In the skilled irregularity of a "dithyramb
," Miller suggests the frenzied inner conflict of his gay companion "marrying outside his own sex."
Same way in the dithyramb
and just have somebody stand there--it's nod city....
(3) In "Arion," Eliot adapts Herodotus's Histories, book 1, chapter 24, which tells the story of Arion (ancient Greek poet and inventor of the dithyramb
), who won fame and wealth in Italy and was forced by sailors to jump into the sea upon returning to his native Corinth.
In the Dionysiac dithyramb
man is stimulated to the highest intensification of his symbolic powers; something that he has never felt before urgently demands to be expressed: the destruction of the veil of maya, one-ness as the genius of humankind, indeed of nature itself." (71)