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What is dramatic recitation?

Bexley, E. M. (2015) 'What is dramatic recitation?', Mnemosyne., 68 (5). pp. 774-793.


This article examines the literary evidence for recitations of drama in first- and early second-century C.E.Rome. It begins by contextualizing the practice of recitatio, and thereafter focuses on the central question of how a solo speaker could recite a play so as to render it intelligible for his audience. Two solutions suggested by extant sources are voice and gesture; it is possible that the individuals reciting plays either altered their intonation or inserted specific movements to signify a change of character. Although both of these solutions are tentative, they indicate nonetheless that dramatic recitation involved elements of performance.

Item Type:Article
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Date accepted:No date available
Date deposited:03 October 2017
Date of first online publication:14 September 2015
Date first made open access:No date available

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