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“The Deep-Voiced Lord of Thunder”: Thunder and the Poetic Voice in Pindar

By Owen Goslin

Recent scholarship has elucidated the fine distinctions between words for voice in Greek, and the significance of this lexicon for understanding poetic inspiration in early Greek poetry (Ford 1992, Leclerc 1993, Lachenaud 2013). One neglected area of study, however, is the distinctive sound of Zeus’ thunder and its relationship to Greek notions of the voice and poetic authority. To what extent do Greek poets conceive of thunder – the disembodied and yet inimitable sound of Zeus – as a voice? And what role does this sublime sound play in poetic self-fashioning?

Choral Ventriloquism in Aeschylus’ Agamemnon

By Sarah Nooter

This paper examines voice and identity in performance through the use of quotation and vocal characterization in the first two choral odes of Aeschylus’ Agamemnon. I refer to these phenomena as “ventriloquism” to underline the effects of the chorus’ “throwing” of voice from their onstage collective identity into the bodies of absent speakers, both those who speak for gods and those that sound like animals. Voice is a powerful individualizing force, each one recognizable through its particular materiality.

Mythologies of the Voice: Plato’s Cicadas and the Nature of the Voice

By Pauline LeVen

The Muses and the Sirens are the most ubiquitous mythological figures associated with song and the voice in ancient Greece. They give us access to the categories through which the ancients conceptualized vocality and sung music: pleasure, beauty, seduction, immortality, and various degrees of danger are features that characterize scenes staging these divinities.

Choral Whispers

By Timothy Power

Whispering and related vocalizations (murmuring, low/breathy voice) carried many of the same sociocultural connotations in early Greece as they do in other societies.

Acoustic Ironies in Euripides’ Trojan Women

By Emily Allen-Hornblower

Throughout Euripides’ Trojan Women, a wide array of gloomy sounds reflect the dire mood that attends the devastating portrayal of the fall of Troy, and mark the decisive moments and tremendous impact of its annihilation (Poole 1976; Davidson 2001). As they prepare to embark on the Greek ships, the chorus of captive women provide a mournful undertone to the entire play with their piteous lament (Suter 2003). The river Scamander echoes their wails (28-9), and the beaches groan like a bird crying for its young (825).