stichomythia

stichomythia

[stik-uh-mith-ee-uh]
noun
dramatic dialogue, as in a Greek play, characterized by brief exchanges between two characters, each of whom usually speaks in one line of verse during a scene of intense emotion or strong argumentation.
Also, stichomythy [sti-kom-uh-thee] .


Origin:
1860–65; < Greek stichomȳthía, equivalent to stícho(s) (see stich1) + -mȳthia (mŷth(os) speech, story + -ia -ia)

stichomythic, adjective
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World English Dictionary
stichomythia or stichomythy (ˌstɪkəʊˈmɪθɪə, stɪˈkɒmɪθɪ)
 
n
a form of dialogue originating in Greek drama in which single lines are uttered by alternate speakers
 
[C19: from Greek stikhomuthein to speak alternate lines, from stikhos line + muthos speech; see myth]
 
stichomythy or stichomythy
 
n
 
[C19: from Greek stikhomuthein to speak alternate lines, from stikhos line + muthos speech; see myth]
 
sticho'mythic or stichomythy
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

stichomythia

dialogue in alternate lines, a form sometimes used in Classical Greek drama in which two characters alternate speaking single epigrammatic lines of verse. This device, which is found in such plays as Aeschylus' Agamemnon and Sophocles' Oedipus Rex, is often used as a means to show characters in vigorous contention or to heighten the emotional intensity of a scene. Characters may take turns voicing antithetical positions, or they may take up one another's words, suggesting other meanings or punning upon them.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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