Ítaca: Quaderns Catalans de Cultura Clàssica, Núm. 33 (2017)

From Aeschylus to Phaedrus. Fables in tragedy, tragedy in fables

Ursula Gärtner


The genres fable and tragedy do not have much in common. The fable was understood as a means of persuasion or illustration but was not held in high esteem. Thus, it is only seldom used in tragedies. In contrast, parody of tragedy has a long literary tradition. Therefore, it is not surprising that Phaedrus offers a perfect Medea prologue in IV 7, full of intertextual references to the texts of his predecessors as well as to the literary criticism of these texts. He shows that he is aware of the literary discourse on poetry and on tragedy in particular. However, contextualizing this tragedy in his fables, he inscribes himself in the tradition of paratragodia.

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ISSN: 2013-9519 (edició electrònica); 0213-6643 (edició impresa).

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