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[stik-uh-mith-ee-uh] /ˌstɪk əˈmɪθ i ə/
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] /stɪˈkɒm ə θi/ (Show IPA)
1860-65; < Greek stichomȳthía, equivalent to stícho(s) (see stich1) + -mȳthia (mŷth(os) speech, story + -ia -ia)
Related forms
stichomythic, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for stichomythia


a form of dialogue originating in Greek drama in which single lines are uttered by alternate speakers
Derived Forms
stichomythic, adjective
Word Origin
C19: from Greek stikhomuthein to speak alternate lines, from stikhos line + muthos speech; see myth
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
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Word Origin and History for stichomythia

"dialogue in alternate lines," Latinized from Greek stikhomythia, from stikhos (see stichic) + mythos "speech, talk" (see myth).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Article for 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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