Memory on Canvas: Commedia dell’Arte as a Model for Homeric Performance


Although, thanks to many years of research and comparative scholarship, we have a more complete understanding of the making of the Homeric poems, it can still be useful to apply the performance practices of other oral—or oral-derived—arts to increase that understanding. This essay applies the techniques of the Italian commedia dell’arte, which combines the written and the created-in-performance, to augment our knowledge of just how such poems may originally have been performed.

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