Language

Table of contents

Metrics 

First of all, it can be stated that the entire play Oedipus the King by Sophocles is metrically shaped, with different meters assigned to the individual parts. Ancient meter is quantitative, meaning that it is not a sequence of stressed and unstressed syllables, but a sequence of lengths and shortenings. Therefore, a short or long syllable can stand at certain places. The different possible combinations of shortening and length lead to different types of verse. 

Within the speech verses (in the dialogue), the iambic trimeter dominates. In the iambic meter of antiquity, two verse feet (a dipody) are always combined into one meter. This basically follows the following scheme: x - u - . Here "x" denotes any syllable, "u" a short one and "-" a long one. If the verse has six feet and thus three meters, it is called trimeter. For example:

I pitied the boy, master, and I thought

he’d take the child off to a foreign land

where he was from. But he rescued him,

only to save him for the greatest grief of all

For if you’re the one this man says you are

you know your birth carried an awful fate. (1412-1417)

In the Kommos there is also an anapaestic part. In verse theory, anapaestic is a three-part ancient or older verse foot, which consis...

The text shown above is just an extract. Only members can read the full content.

Get access to the full Study Guide.

As a member of PrimeStudyGuides.com, you get access to all of the content.

Sign up now

Already a member? Log in