The Epic Narrative, Lyric Poetry ,Tragedy ,Comedy ,History ,Rhetoric and Oratory, Philosophical Prose. I will be dealing with just four , namely :
The Epic Narrative: Includes The Iliad and the Odyssey by Homer. The characteristics of an Epic narrative are :
- Begins in medias res.(A narrative work beginning in medias res opens in the midst of action.Works that employ in medias res often, though not always, subsequently use flashback and nonlinear narrative for exposition of earlier events in order to fill in the backstory. For example, in Homer’s Odyssey, we first learn about Odysseus’ journey when he is held captive on Calypso’s island.
- The setting is vast, covering many nations, the world or the universe.
- Begins with an invocation to a muse (epic invocation).
- Begins with a statement of the theme.
- Includes the use of epithets.
- Contains long lists, called an epic catalogue.
- Features long and formal speeches.
- Shows divine intervention on human affairs.
- Features heroes that embody the values of the civilization.
- Often features the tragic hero’s descent into the Underworld or hell.
Lyric poetry- Remember Hesiod Here!
‘Lyric’ indicates that these poems were conceived of as belonging to the tradition of poetry sung or chanted to the accompaniment of the lyre, also known as melic poetry (from melos, “song”; compare English “melody”).
The themes of Greek lyric include “politics, war, sports, drinking, money, youth, old age, death, the heroic past, the gods,” and hetero- and homosexual love.”In the 3rd century BC, the encyclopedic movement at Alexandria produced a canon of the nine melic poets: Alcaeus, Alcman, Anacreon, Bacchylides, Ibycus, Pindar, Sappho, Simonides, and Stesichorus
From replying to the chorus (Also called dithyramb) in honour of the god Dionysus, tragedy was born . The dithyramb had elements of the Satyr plays (were an ancient Greek form of tragicomedy,similar in the bawdy spirit of the burlesque source:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Satyr_play) . Arion of Lesbos, who is said to have worked at Corinth in about 600, is credited with being the first to write narrative poetry in this medium.
Important names :Thespis , Aeschylus ,Sophocles, Euripides.
Also originated from the worship of Dionysus . Full of obsenity with the aim of criticizing evil, it had a part called “Parabasis” where the chorus was cut short to address societal ills . Actors were usually those who had suffered from abuse or tyranny from the oppressors they were commenting on .
Old Comedy survives today largely in the form of the eleven surviving plays of Aristophanes, while Middle Comedy is largely lost, i.e. preserved only in relatively short fragments by authors such as Athenaeus of Naucratis. New Comedy is known primarily from the substantial papyrus fragments of Menander.(source :https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ancient_Greek_comedy)