Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- n. The chief of the choral parts in ancient Greek comedy. It was sung by the chorus, usually divided into four rows of six and moving backward and forward facing the audience, during an intermission in the action, and while the actors were off the stage. It was written for the most part in anapestic tetrameters, and consisted, in fact, of an address from the poet to the public, giving his views and advice on affairs of state, as well as, often, his personal interests and claims for recognition or reward. The parabasis was regularly divided into six rhetorical parts, which were again subdivided; but any of these parts might be omitted or modified. It continued in the fully developed comedy the tradition of the Bacchic processions in which Greek comedy had its origin.
“f (1) The 'parabasis' in the Old Comedy was a sort of address or topical harangue addressed directly by the poet, speaking by the Chorus, to the audience.”
“A literary work can do this, much as Schlegel's Lucinde had, by presenting within its scope a range of possible alternate plots or by mimicking the parabasis in which the comic playwright interposed himself within the drama itself or the role of the Italian buffo or clown (Lyceumfragment 42) who disrupts the spectator's narrative illusion.”
“Old comedy is not fit for men that are making merry, by reason of the excuses that appear in it; for that vehemency which they use in the parabasis is loud and indecent, and the liberty they take to scoff and abuse is very surfeiting, too open, and full of filthy words and lewd expressions.”
“Undoubtedly the comic poet who mounted the stage to praise himself in the parabasis would deserve to be handed over to the sticks or the beadles.”
“But let us prepare for the recital of the parabasis.”
“ The opening portion of the parabasis belongs to a second edition of the 'Clouds.”
“ The _parabasis_ in the Old Comedy was a sort of address or topical harangue addressed directly by the poet, speaking by the Chorus, to the audience.”
“ The tripping metre usually employed in the _parabasis_.”
“ This part of the parabasis belongs to the first edition of the”
“These four verses are here repeated from the parabasis of”
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Words from the works of Peter Reading - at least one from each (except the Schwitters-esque erosions, cut-ups etc).
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