Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A form of verbal sparring used especially in ancient Greek drama or poetry, in which single lines of verse or parts of lines are spoken by alternate speakers.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • noun In ancient Greek drama and bucolic poetry, dialogue in alternate lines, or pairs or groups of lines; also, arrangement of lines in this manner.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun poetry A technique in drama or poetry, in which alternating lines, or half-lines, are given to alternating characters, voices, or entities

Etymologies

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Greek stikhomūthiā, from stikhomūthein, to speak in alternating lines : stikhos, stich; see steigh- in Indo-European roots + mūthos, speech.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Modern Latin, from Ancient Greek στιχομυθία (στίχος ‘line of verse’ + μῦθος ‘speech’).

Examples

  • The topic, as good as a smart diagnosis of language, replete with lots of word play, quick rebuttal in stichomythia, as good as both comic as good as critical diagnosis of love, remind us of alternative early plays of a Bard identical to Love's Labor's Lost as good as Romeo as good as Midsummer Night's Dream.

    Philadelphia Reflections: Shakspere Society of Philadelphia

  • The topic, as good as a smart diagnosis of language, replete with lots of word play, quick rebuttal in stichomythia, as good as both comic as good as critical diagnosis of love, remind us of alternative early plays of a Bard identical to Love's Labor's Lost as good as Romeo as good as Midsummer Night's Dream.

    Archive 2009-11-01

  • In a passage that brilliantly demonstrates the rhetorical devices we saw earlier in Shakespeare's poetry, such as stichomythia, antithesis, parison, and isocolon (see Chapter 1), Hamlet makes plain that he is on the offensive.

    Shakespeare

  • Her students snicker at the bold smears coloring her teeth and at her pronunciation of “Rastafarian” (Ra-sti-fay-rien), roll their eyes when she uses words like “stichomythia” and “brackish” for their ugliness.

    Becoming an Oates Girl

  • At times it is almost literally like stichomythia, every sentence the subject of a smart retort invariably negative from the interior textual demolition team.

    Archive 2009-02-01

  • At times it is almost literally like stichomythia, every sentence the subject of a smart retort invariably negative from the interior textual demolition team.

    Thursday ...

  • Where is mr. aRye, master of repartee, stichomythia, and the witty rejoinder?

    Naked woman alert

  • The author was well acquainted with classical drama, as may be seen in his use of stichomythia, amongst other things, and possibly in his preference for a Grecian story.

    The Growth of English Drama

  • Pythias_ did before him -- of the Greek device of stichomythia.

    The Growth of English Drama

  • The thrust and parry of wit in the single-line dialogues (_stichomythia_) pleased them more than it pleases us.

    Specimens of Greek Tragedy — Aeschylus and Sophocles

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