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What is Dramatic Recitation?

Bexley, E.M.

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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.


Bexley, E. (2015). What is Dramatic Recitation?. Mnemosyne: A Journal of Classical Studies, 68(5), 774-793.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Sep 14, 2015
Publication Date Sep 14, 2015
Deposit Date Sep 27, 2017
Publicly Available Date Oct 3, 2017
Journal Mnemosyne
Print ISSN 0026-7074
Electronic ISSN 1568-525X
Publisher Brill Academic Publishers
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 68
Issue 5
Pages 774-793


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