III.3 Reusing others’ words: Resonance

3.1 Introduction

§1. Whenever we speak or write, we inevitably use words and constructions that others have already used, or that we ourselves have used on previous occasions. Recurrence of elements from previous discourse is therefore common in language use, both spoken and written. Types of recurrence include reusing certain words, echoing sounds, reproducing syntactic constructions, and recycling pragmatic functions such as questioning or evaluating. Sometimes we use such repetition across utterances [1] consciously to achieve specific communicative goals. We might, for example, echo an interlocutor as a way to join her in her action. In a different context, we might use an opponent’s own words, concepts, or constructions to defeat him rhetorically. In yet another situation, we might mimic someone else’s intonation pattern to amuse our listeners.
§2. The process of exploiting linguistic echoes for pragmatic reasons is called resonance in the theory of dialogic syntax, developed by John Du Bois. This chapter will discuss the use of resonance in Greek tragedy and comedy, and the roles that particles play in this process. The aim of applying this modern linguistic approach to an ancient corpus is not to advance our knowledge about (dialogic) communication in general; spoken conversations form better material for investigating those aspects. Rather, as holds for the theory applications in III.2 (discourse patterns) and III.4 (Conversation Analysis), the goal is a better understanding of language use in the corpus of Greek drama, and of particle use in particular.

3.1.1 What is dialogic resonance?

§3. The concept of resonance has been developed by Du Bois, in the framework of dialogic syntax. [2] This theory stresses the dialogic nature of communication: that is, every piece of discourse is shaped by a context, and in its turn shapes the new context. The approaches to language use upon which Du Bois’ theory builds consider discourse a dynamic and joint construction by all participants, rather than a static product by one speaker or writer, as some other linguistic theories assume. Among the dialogic approaches we can find the joint-action theory of language use (Clark 1996), Conversation Analysis (see III.4 for discussion and references), and dialogism (Voloshinov 1973 [1929]; Bakhtin 1981 [1934]; Linell 1998, 2009). They all share the view that every communicative act is context-shaped and context-renewing; that is, communicative acts respond to some prior context and at the same time serve as context for subsequent contributions. [3]
§4. Although these frameworks are based on spoken language use, they are also useful for understanding written discourse. These theories as well as others have demonstrated that spoken language should be considered the primary and most basic form of language use, from which all others are derived. Hopper and Thompson 2008 convincingly argue that the simpler forms of certain constructions used in spoken language should not be viewed as degenerate versions of the written norm. Rather, written constructions are better considered “normativized and extended versions” (119) of the spoken ones.
§5. Starting from general ideas on dialogism, Du Bois has developed the framework of dialogic syntax, which focuses on dialogic engagement across pieces of discourse, both spoken and written, and (in conversation) both across turns of speaking and within single turns. The approach is not restricted to dialogues; as Du Bois puts it, “[w]hat is essential to dialogicality is not dialogue in the narrow sense, but engagement with prior words and structures” (2014:372). As case studies he analyzes the relations among separate turns in American English conversations, since spoken exchanges between two speakers are the canonical realizations of dialogic syntax. He observes that speakers often pick up certain elements from previous utterances in order to achieve some pragmatic goal(s). A speaker, for example, might reuse her interlocutor’s words, constructions, intonation patterns, etc. to express disagreement:
(t1)
Joanne: It’s kind of like you Ken.
Ken: That’s not at all like me Joanne.
Fragment of spoken dialogue, from Du Bois 2014:362
In this exchange, Du Bois points out, the second speaker Ken picks up lexical items, syntactic structures, and the intonation pattern of the first speaker Joanne’s utterance. He thereby highlights his disagreement. Similarly, picking up a specific part of another’s utterance may serve to signal doubt or objection:
(t2)
Wendy: Eight-ounce measuring cup. Is virtually unbreakable.
Kevin: Virtually.
Fragment of spoken dialogue, from Sakita 2006:472
Here Kevin, by repeating Wendy’s “virtually,” draws attention to this part of her utterance to characterize it as the crucial part of her overall claim: the cup is not completely unbreakable.
§6. Du Bois calls this process of “activating affinities across utterances” dialogic resonance. Note that resonance is not merely repetition. Only when the repetition in question draws attention to itself, and when it accomplishes specific ends, resonance is triggered. It is therefore a more dynamic process than repetition: the speaker or writer actively does something by picking up some previous element. On top of that, resonance is broader than lexical repetition: building upon a syntactic construction or mirroring an intonation pattern can also trigger resonance. The difference between these two processes, however, is not clear-cut. Du Bois, for example, is dubious as to whether the repetition in the following excerpt should be considered a trigger of resonance. Ken has just asked Lenore what kind of vitamin tablets she brought:
(t3)
Lenore: This is liver.
Ken: How many different liver things do you have?
Fragment of spoken dialogue, from Du Bois 2010:32
As the word repeated here, “liver,” is not a very common one, the repetition seems at first sight to be significant. It is ambiguous, however, whether Ken has a specific intention in repeating Lenore. Du Bois points out that in all likelihood Ken simply does not have an appropriate synonym available to him.
§7. The current corpus of tragedy and comedy displays similar borderline cases. This chapter assumes that if we can plausibly infer conscious pragmatic goals for certain repetitions that occur across utterances, we may interpret these repetitions as resonance triggers. [4] For a fictional drama corpus, we should keep in mind the added dimension of the author: on top of the characters’ pragmatic goals, those of the playwright may be involved in resonance. [5]

3.1.2 Studies on resonance in modern languages

§8. To date we have several applications of dialogic syntax using corpora from different modern languages. This new body of work shows that resonance takes place in a variety of linguistic forms and with several functions, and has yielded a number of theoretical refinements. This section gives an overview of these applications, in order to illustrate that resonance is a productive concept. [6] It is relevant to many languages and types of discourse, and it has points of contact to several other concepts.
§9. Giora and Balaban’s 2001 article is the first application of resonance theory. The authors mention resonance as an explanation for the use of metaphors in Hebrew newspapers. The metaphors’ literal meaning is processed alongside their figurative, metaphoric one, which often leads to recurrence of the literal meaning in following discourse. Haddington 2004 looks at stancetaking in American English news interviews through the lens of dialogic syntax, following Du Bois 2007 [7] in describing stancetaking as “a dynamic, dialogic, intersubjective, and collaborative social activity” (111). [8] In the process of stancetaking in news interviews, interviewees frequently pick up linguistic features from their interviewers’ utterances to express their own stance. Laury 2005 focuses on topicality in Finnish interactions, and shows that “speakers use the recycling of linguistic elements as a resource in maintaining topical continuity in conversational interaction” (165).
§10. Sakita 2006 extends the theory of dialogic syntax by uniting it with ideas drawn from cognitive linguistics. Analyzing some of the same American English examples as Du Bois, Sakita points out that many instances of resonance depend on the speakers’ capacity for schematization. That is, speakers need to “instantly abstract a schema from a priming utterance” (494) before they can use this schema to build their own utterance upon. Giora 2007, using examples from newspapers and webpages in English and Hebrew, proposes further theoretical refinements. This author distinguishes between “backward” and “forward” resonance, that is, resonance “between a given utterance and a previous one” and resonance “between a given utterance and a future one” (142). Giora makes this distinction because, in her view, “the speaker’s choice of a given constituent may be determined by the next constituent she is planning to use” (144). Forward resonance, then, is a concept that is relevant only in restricted cases, when we are dealing with separate utterances spoken by the same speaker. Furthermore, while a speaker’s intentions may indeed play a role in her use of conscious repetitions, resonance can only be triggered once the second utterance has been heard. It is therefore better to keep to one clear definition of resonance, and to treat only echoes of earlier elements as resonance triggers.
§11. Zima, Brône, Feyaerts, and Sambre 2008 show that speakers frequently employ resonance in contexts of disagreement during French and Austrian political debates. In their words, “[f]ormal mapping relations are intentionally used to convey interpersonal pragmatic differential” (144). Speakers especially tend to pick up the syntax from an earlier speaker. Here is an example:
(t4)
Speaker 1: Es war einmal ein Professor,
Speaker 2: Der wollte Vizekanzler werden!
Speaker 1: Der wollte etwas Gutes tun – nicht für sich, sondern für nachwachsende Generationen (…)
Fragment of a debate in the Austrian parliament, March 2006, from Zima et al. 2008:144 (their translation)
S1. Once upon a time, there was a professor
S2. Who wanted to become vice-chancellor!
S1. Who wanted to do good – not for himself but for the succeeding generations (…)
In this exchange, the two speakers take turns stealing their opponents’ syntax and semantics. Speaker 1, intending to characterize himself as a do-gooder, begins with a typical fairytale beginning. Speaker 2 then interjects, commandeering the first speaker’s syntax and semantics to throw doubt on his good intentions. In the third utterance, however, Speaker 1 mirrors the second speaker’s utterance to reassert his own attitude on the matter. Resonance is thus useful for conveying differences, Zima et al. conclude, such as to express disagreement or sarcasm, to ridicule, or to claim intellectual superiority. Nuolijärvi and Tiittula 2011 extend the work of Zima et al. in their discussion of Finnish political debates. This article also describes how speakers employ resonance to convey pragmatic differences. Resonance can “be used for marking a stance toward the previous speaker’s utterance” (578). The authors focus on the use of irony, which always seems to involve some kind of intentional “echoing” of another speaker. [9]
§12. Oropeza-Escobar 2011, in a book-length study on resonance in contemporary Mexican Spanish interactions, demonstrates that resonance can be used in joking contexts. Speakers also often use resonance to signal agreement or disagreement, or, more generally, to indicate their stance. [10] In the following passage, two speakers mock the first by exploiting the phonological similarity between (the Spanish equivalents of) “election” and “erection”:
(t5)
Speaker 1: Sabe qué tipo de erección tendremos en el dos mil tres?
Speaker 2: Perdón?
Speaker 3: Qué tipo de qué?
Speaker 2: Erección?
Speaker 1: Qué tipo de elección.
Speaker 3: Sí yo también oí…
Speaker 2: Sí, ándale.
Speaker 3: Porque dijo erección, verdad?
Fragment of informal Mexican Spanish conversation, from Oropeza-Escobar 2011:32-33 (her translation)
S1. Do you know what type of erection we will have in 2003?
S2. Pardon?
S3. What type of what?
S2. Erection?
S1. What type of election.
S3. Yes I also heard…
S2. Yeah, that’s right.
S3. Because he said erection, right?
As Oropeza-Escobar (33, 44) points out, the second and third speakers mock and embarrass the first speaker by repeating his “slip of the tongue” with a marked intonation.
§13. Finally, the 2011 article by Takanashi provides a detailed discussion of resonance in playful informal Japanese conversations. She shows that speakers may perform a switch in speech style in response to a similar shift by a previous speaker. For example, one participant she studies playfully enacts the speech style of a stereotypical professor; his friend replies by acting out the response of a stereotypical student. In another example, speakers enact the personae of stereotypical wife and husband, and stereotypical American versus Japanese. Takanashi calls this phenomenon “pragmatic resonance,” and more specifically “stylistic resonance.” [11]
§14. To sum up: the recent work on resonance in modern languages shows that this process is ubiquitous, and that its analysis can throw light on different aspects of communication. So far we have evidence from English, Finnish, French, German, Hebrew, Japanese, and Mexican Spanish; and from both spoken and written language taking place in both informal settings (such as daily conversation) and formal ones (such as political debates and newspapers). These analyses bring to light the many forms and functions that resonance can take. We will see in this chapter that Greek drama, likewise, displays a variety of resonance uses.

3.1.3 Studies on resonance in ancient Greek

§15. Let us now turn to ancient Greek. Indeed, scholars have long observed that speakers in Greek tragedy and comedy exploit linguistic similarities across turns of speaking to achieve different effects. Thus, the existing work is compatible with this framework, even though none of the authors so far explicitly applies Du Bois’ concept of resonance.
§16. Hancock’s 1917 dissertation on tragic stichomythia is a particularly good example of this convergence of thought. He observes that it is characteristic in stichomythia for one speaker to pick up and emphasize another speaker’s words or constructions (6, 35-36), often in an angry or mocking way (33). Hancock analyzes this process in detail and outlines its forms and functions. He also notes the different ways in which each of the major tragedians employs this type of recurrence. Most relevant for us, his study includes observations on the use of particles in such processes. [12]
§17. Ireland 1974 on Aeschylus similarly focuses on the way speakers during stichomythia pick up elements from each other’s utterances. In this author’s view, stichomythia does not just present an “arbitrary juxtaposition of independent statements,” but an “interaction of intellectual and emotional responses” connected to the dramatic situation (513). He gives many examples of “the syntactic completion of one line by the other” (511), and discusses the role of particles in them.
§18. Pfeiffer-Petersen 1996 on Sophocles looks specifically at repetition in conflict stichomythia. This scholar analyzes several linguistic strategies employed in agonistic dialogues, which range from the repetition of words and morphemes across utterances (“Wortaufnahmen”) to syntactic, phonological, and semantic similarities. Her conclusions closely align with the work on dialogic syntax previously surveyed, as she finds that repetitions frequently occur to emphasize a speaker’s main ideas or emotions, or to “fight back” an opponent with his own words. Such repetitions are especially prominent in scenes of vehement disagreement.
§19. Pickering is a particularly prolific scholar of repetition in tragedy, with several rich publications and presentations to his name from 1999 to 2003. [13] His main focus is verbal or literal repetition: that is, lexical echoes across different lines. [14] Pickering 1999 stresses that since repetition is “natural in human communication” it lends an air of realism to tragic dialogues (152-154, 231). He writes (154): “there is nothing in the least odd about the repetition of words in the tragedians. Not only are the authors behaving in the common human way, but they are also accurately representing their characters as behaving in the common human way.” [15] Developing this work, Pickering and Pickering 2002 analyze lexical repetition from one line to the next in twenty-one Greek tragedies (seven by each poet). They find that such repetition appears in stichomythia about twice as often as it does in spoken parts of tragedy overall. Characters in tragedy, Pickering and Pickering conclude, repeat each other’s words much more often when their speaking turns are short.
§20. Collins 2004 investigates the use of competitive “capping” in tragic and comic stichomythia. Capping is a conversational practice of verbal one-upmanship, central to symposia, whereby one speaker sets a theme and another responds by modifying that theme in some way. Parodies and riddles result, or in case of a lament, the emotional effect is heightened. Extending Collins’ work, Hesk 2007 describes some specific cases of competitive capping in Aristophanes, which involve (141-142) “lexical repetition, structural mirroring and quasi-improvised responsion.” Hesk argues that capping in comedies is a parody of the real poetic competitions that occurred for example in sympotic games.
§21. Willi 2003 and 2012 also look at comedy. The author observes linguistic features which create a parody of tragic language. He finds that one of the ways in which Aristophanes parodies tragedy is by mirroring, and thus mocking, tragedy’s “stylistic grandeur” (138). A notable example is the liberal use of abstract nouns ending in -μα, a signal feature of tragic language. [16]
§22. An unpublished paper on Sophocles by Lucci 2011 points out that Sophocles sometimes uses lexical repetition in stichomythia in order to create humorous wordplay. This wordplay can function as a comic foil to subsequent horrifying tragic events, Lucci argues.
§23. Similarly, Rutherford, in his book on tragic language and style, notes that repetition of one speaker’s words by another is a frequent feature of tragic stichomythia (2012:173). Rutherford mentions several functions of lexical repetition, both in stichomythia and other parts of a play. First, it may underline not only disagreement between speakers, but also their unity, as between Orestes and Electra in Sophocles Electra (173). Second, terms used in a prologue may reappear throughout a play, which highlights their thematic importance (Sophocles is especially fond of this technique (181)). Third, a speaker might sarcastically reuse a previous speaker’s words, as Antigone does when echoing Ismene’s οἴμοι in Sophocles Antigone 86 (185). Finally, a playwright may put certain words or constructions repeatedly in a speaker’s mouth to characterize him or her in a certain way (185).
§24. Altogether the above studies provide an abundance of data on the use of similarities across utterances in Greek drama. All the analyses fit well with the concept of resonance observed in the modern-language corpora discussed in the previous section. However, the studies tend to focus on lexical repetition and syntactic continuation only; resonance is broader, as it can also be triggered by semantic, pragmatic, metrical, and other similarities across utterances. On top of that, analyzing resonance entails taking into account the speaker’s pragmatic goals in echoing a previous utterance.

3.1.4 This chapter

§25. This chapter analyzes similarities, mainly across different utterances, in tragedy and comedy using the modern linguistic concept of resonance. As will be demonstrated, resonance is an important communicative strategy of characters and playwrights. We can detect various forms, beyond lexical repetition and syntactic parallelism, as well as a wide range of functions. The study of resonance throws light on many aspects of communication in the corpus, including particle use.
§26. The next section distinguishes two groups of functions of resonance in Greek drama. First, resonance may serve the speaking character’s goals; second, it may serve the playwright’s goals. Examples and analyses will show for which functions the linguistic echoes are employed, as well as which forms are involved. Subsequently, I discuss the roles that particles play in the process of resonance. There are two ways in which they do so. Most important, particles indicate how a speaker uses resonance between her utterance and a previous utterance. Second, they may trigger resonance themselves when repeated across utterances.

3.2 Resonance in tragedy and comedy

3.2.1 Functions of resonance

§27. Recall from our survey of resonance studies in modern languages that conscious linguistic repetition (lexical or otherwise) may have several pragmatic functions. Repetition may, for example, stress the unity of two speakers: in using similar words and constructions, the speakers stress that they belong together and that they have similar communicative goals. In tragedy, such resonance may be due to the ritual context. If two speakers are performing a ritual together, such as invoking a dead relative (see (t6)), they tend to use highly similar language.
§28. A second, antithetical, function of resonance is to express semantic or pragmatic difference from a previous utterance, such as to disagree with one’s interlocutor. We have seen some examples of this function from modern languages: politicians tend to pick up their opponents’ language in order to defeat their arguments. In tragedy and comedy we see this function especially in quick stichomythic exchanges; scholars often note the high degree of lexical repetition there. As the practice in Greek drama and modern languages attests, it is a rhetorically effective strategy to contradict an opponent with his own words.
§29. In addition to the pragmatic purposes of the speakers, we must also consider those of the playwright. Similarities and recurrences across utterances may serve ends that transcend the immediate concerns of the communicating characters. The reappearance of a certain semantic concept may, for instance, underline its importance as a theme in the play. Phonological or metrical resonance may also have the same effect. [17]
§30. Similarly, when a speaker habitually uses certain words or constructions over the course of a play, this recurrence becomes a way of characterizing her. For example, if a character repeatedly uses directive or interrogative utterances and does so much more often than her interlocutors, this repetition may trigger a resonance of illocutionary force. [18] The habitual use of directives may characterize the speaker as, for instance, more powerful than her addressees, while the habit of asking questions is particularly fitting for characters who are ignorant of everything they should have known.
§31. In comedy, resonance that functions at the metadramatic level includes the following forms. First, there is the type of resonance that is triggered through repetition of unusual words or of whole situations within the scope of a play. Such resonance may work to create a humorous effect. Second, there is the type that is triggered by recurrence of forms across plays, especially between comedy and tragedy. The comedian’s purpose here is to create paratragedy or to parody a different genre. So, for example, the extensive lexical quotation that Aristophanes makes use of in Frogs highlights the play’s reference to tragedy. Less conspicuous similarities may achieve this effect as well.
§32. We should also consider resonance in comedy that serves dual functions, both the character’s purposes and the playwright’s. When one speaker is sarcastic with another, the character’s pragmatic goal is to disagree with her interlocutor. At the same time, sarcasm works at the metadramatic level, to amuse the audience.

3.2.2 Resonance used by speaking characters

3.2.2.1 Resonance stressing unity of speakers and actions
§33. It must be noted that the typically agonistic nature of Greek drama does not leave much room for the type of resonance that stresses the unity of speakers and their actions. Nonetheless, there are two contexts that are highly compatible with this type of resonance, ritual (see (t6) with discussion) and, more specifically, lament (see (t7) with discussion). Consider this first example, from Aeschylus Libation Bearers. Orestes and Electra are together invoking the ghost of their dead father Agamemnon, as well as the chthonic powers, to summon their help in the vengeance they plan to take against Clytemnestra. The two siblings’ utterances display much lexical and syntactic repetition:
(t6)
          Ορ. ὦ γαῖ’, ἄνες μοι πατέρ’ ἐποπτεῦσαι μάχην.
490     Ηλ. ὦ Περσέφασσα, δὸς δέ γ’ εὔμορφον κράτος.
          Ορ. μέμνησο λουτρῶν οἷς ἐνοσφίσθης, πάτερ.
          Ηλ. μέμνησο δ’ ἀμφίβληστρον ὡς ἐκαίνισας.
          Ορ. πέδαις γ’ ἀχαλκεύτοισι θηρευθείς, πάτερ.
          Ηλ. αἰσχρῶς τε βουλευτοῖσιν ἐν καλύμμασιν.
495    Ορ. ἆρ’ ἐξεγείρηι τοῖσδ’ ὀνείδεσιν, πάτερ;
          Ηλ. ἆρ’ ὀρθὸν αἴρεις φίλτατον τὸ σὸν κάρα;
Aeschylus Libation Bearers 489-496
Or. Earth, send me up my father to watch over my fight.
El. Persephassa, give him to us in his beauty and power.
Or. Remember the bath in which you were done to death, father!
El. Remember how they devised a new kind of net!
Or. And you were caught in fetters that were not made of metal, father.
El. Yes, [19] in the shroud that was part of their shaming plot.
Or. Are you awakened by the thought of that disgrace, father?
El. Are you raising your beloved head erect?
There are repetitions of words at the beginning of lines 489-490, 491-492, and 495-496. Groeneboom 1949 ad loc. explains these similarities as references to cult formulas. Both he and Garvie 1986 observe that this prayer continues or repeats the theme of the directly preceding lyric section, the kommos (lines 306-478), sung by the chorus, Electra, and Orestes in alternation. According to Garvie, the lexical repetitions and other similarities across turns by the different speakers in 489-496 recall the strophic correspondences of the kommos.
§34. We can make these similarities more visible in so-called diagraph visualizations. The diagraph is “a higher-order, supra-sentential syntactic structure that emerges from the structural coupling of two or more utterances (or utterance portions), through the mapping of a structured array of resonance relations between them” (Du Bois 2014:376). Illustrating this structure in a schematic form clarifies the resonance relations in a certain stretch of discourse. Elements which are seen as resonating with elements from another utterance are boldfaced and placed in the same column. The method helps make clear how exactly the elements resemble and differ from each other.
Figure 1: Diagraphs of Aeschylus Libation Bearers 489-496 [20]














489 OR. ὦ γαῖ’ ἄνες μοι ἐποπτεῦσαι μάχην {πατέρ’}
  oh Earth send up for me to watch over the fight [my] father









490 EL. ὦ Περσέφασσα δὸς δέ γ’ εὔμορφον κράτος
  oh Persephassa give and [his] beautiful strength









491 OR. μέμνησο λουτρῶν οἷς ἐνοσφίσθης πάτερ
  remember [the] bath in which you were killed father









492 EL. μέμνησο δ’ ἀμφίβληστρον ὡς ἐκαίνισας
  and remember [the] net how you put it to a new use









493 OR. πέδαις γ’ ἀχαλκεύτοισι θηρευθείς πάτερ
  with non-metal fetters you were caught father









494 EL. αἰσχρῶς τε βουλευτοῖσιν ἐν καλύμμασιν
  and with a shamefully plotted net









495 OR. ἆρ’ ἐξεγείρηι τοῖσδ’ ὀνείδεσιν πάτερ
  [question] you are awakened by this disgrace father









496 EL. ἆρ’ ὀρθὸν αἴρεις φίλτατον τὸ σὸν κάρα
  [question] you raise erect your beloved head
In this passage, resonance takes place simultaneously on several levels. First, there are several lexical echoes: some words are taken over literally (μέμνησο, πάτερ/πατέρ᾽, ἆρ᾽). Second, the utterances show similar syntactic structures: 489-490 both start with a vocative and contain an imperative singular; 491-492 contain an imperative singular and a subordinate clause dependent on an argument of the main verb; 493-494 contain a dative plural argument of θηρευθείς; and 495-496 feature interrogative main clauses with a second person singular verb. Third, there are semantic links: between the meanings of “Earth” and “Persephassa”; between “send up”and “give”; “watching over a fight”and “being strong and beautiful” (helpful characteristics of Agamemnon); “bath” and “net” (deadly tools used by Agamemnon’s killers); “fetters” and “net”; “awaking”and “raising your head.” Fourth, there are pragmatic similarities, where the second of each pair of utterances takes over the first utterance’s pragmatic goal. These goals are, respectively, (1) to entreat the Underworld powers to send up a strong Agamemnon, (2) to entreat Agamemnon to remember the murder, (3) to detail the murder weapons, and (4) to ask Agamemnon whether the prayer has successfully roused him.
§35. The diagraphs also highlight that the essential word “father” (once as the object of a verb, three times as vocative) is uttered only by Orestes in this excerpt. This stresses his dominance over his sister. In addition, the fact that Electra is always the one taking over elements from Orestes’ utterances, rather than the other way around, further stresses her dependent position. [21]
§36. All these resonances work together to convey the unity of the speakers and their action. Electra does not change the pragmatic goals of Orestes’ utterances when she takes over elements from them, but simply mirrors those goals. In the words of Hancock 1917:9, the passage displays “balance but no opposition.” Du Bois 2007 calls this kind of unity “alignment.” [22] Speakers often assess objects in relation to previous assessments by others, and then “align” or “disalign” with them. That Electra so closely mimics Orestes’ speech patterns suggests her strong accordance with Orestes’ sense of loyalty to Agamemnon. Moreover, it fits the ritual nature of the scene: the two speakers are together invoking their dead father.
§37. The exodus at the end of Aeschylus Persians (908-1077, containing first anapaests, then lyrics) uses resonance to emphasize the unity of the speakers and their actions as well. The chorus and the Persian king Xerxes are together lamenting the Persian defeat. Again, resonance is triggered on several linguistic levels at the same time. There is, for instance, a syntactic similarity in the many doublings of words, by both the chorus and the king: e.g. αἰνῶς αἰνῶς (930) and ἔλιπες ἔλιπες (985) by the chorus, and βοᾷ βοᾷ (991) and νέαι νέαι δύαι δύαι (1010) by Xerxes. Repeating words fits the ritual purpose of their song, to perform a lament. That both speakers are doing this at the same time highlights their unity in performing this ritual. [23] Besides words that are uttered twice directly after each other, there are some “refrains” in the song that are verbally repeated across different utterances by the same speaker. For example, Xerxes sings βόα νυν ἀνίδουπά μοι three times (1040, 1048, 1066). Other words are literally repeated across utterances by different speakers: the chorus picks up πεπλήγμεθ᾽ in 1009 from Xerxes’ turn in 1008. These lexical repetitions may trigger resonance, and highlight the joint action of ritual lament.
§38. In some parts of this passage, we can also see—or, rather, hear—repetition of the sound αι. The frequency of this sound throughout the exodus as a whole is not striking: it occurs 93 times in the 170 lines, which means about 55 times per 100 lines on average. This frequency does not differ much from that found in the first 100 lines of Persians and Agamemnon, which respectively yield 41 and 50 occurrences. Nevertheless, if the sound αι appears at a higher rate than usual in the close affinity of the interjection αἰαῖ, then the sound αι and its wailing function receive greater emphasis. [24] In other words, if the phonological repetition is striking enough, it may trigger resonance, and achieve certain pragmatic goals. [25] Here the resonance of αι underlines the chorus and the king’s purpose to lament as well as the fact that they are making a common effort to do so.
(t7)
          Χο. παπαῖ παπαῖ.
          Ξε. καὶ πλέον ἢ παπαῖ μὲν οὖν.
          Χο. δίδυμα γάρ ἐστι καὶ τριπλᾶ.
          Ξε. λυπρά χάρματα δ’ ἐχθροῖς.
1035  Χο. καὶ σθένος γ’ ἐκολούθη.
          Ξε. γυμνός εἰμι προπομπῶν.
          Χο. φίλων ἄταισι ποντίαισιν.
          Ξε. δίαινε δίαινε πῆμα, πρὸς δόμους δ’ ἴθι.
          Χο. αἰαῖ αἰαῖ δύα δύα.
Aeschylus Persians 1031-1039
Ch. Papai, papai!
Xe. No, “papai” is too mild!
Ch. Yes, the disaster was twice and thrice as great.
Xe. Painful, and a delight to our enemies!
Ch. Cut short, too, was the strength—
Xe. I am denuded of escorts!
Ch. —of our friends, by calamaties at sea.
Xe. Wet, wet your cheeks in grief, and go with me to the palace.
Ch. Aiai, aiai! Sorrow, sorrow! [26]
In this passage, we find 14 instances of αι in 9 lines. This high frequency was probably striking for the audience. Note that the particle καί, with its similar sound, also forms parts of the resonating elements.
3.2.2.2 Resonance stressing differences
§39. Sometimes linguistic similarities work to effect something quite the opposite from what I have just discussed. In these cases a speaker picks up a word or construction from a previous utterance, usually by a different speaker, and uses this element in a new semantic context, and/or for a different pragmatic goal. The result is that the very similarity in form highlights the divergence between the two utterances. Such resonance stressing semantic or pragmatic differences may involve disagreement. Two speakers who are fighting over something may pick up parts of each other’s utterances in order to defeat their opponent with his very own words. We have seen in the introduction that such use of resonance is frequent in modern languages as well.
§40. Collins 2004:30 points out that speakers in tragedy and comedy may express disagreement by picking up each other’s words during stichomythia. As an example, Collins cites Aristophanes Lysistrata 371-374, a dialogue with many similarities across utterances, in which the female chorus leader picks up words from the men’s leader. These verbal echoes, he argues, produce “subtle but powerful shifts of meaning.” (30) Resonance can also stress semantic or pragmatic differences without outright disagreement between speakers. For example, as mentioned by Hancock 1917:36, two characters may construe a certain word differently, and thus use the same word to mean different things. In such cases, the poet usually wants to convey something more in addition to what the character herself is saying, for example the character’s ignorance about a certain topic.
§41. The following passage from Euripides Medea is described by Hancock 1917:18 as “very effective in form and spirit.” Mastronarde 2002 ad loc. notes that these lines “present a good example of violently argumentative stichomythia (…) with a characteristic echoing and contrasting of specific words in successive lines.”
(t8)
          Ια. ὦ τέκνα, μητρὸς ὡς κακῆς ἐκύρσατε.
          Μη. ὦ παῖδες, ὡς ὤλεσθε πατρώιαι νόσωι.
1365  Ια. οὔτοι νιν ἡμὴ δεξιά γ’ ἀπώλεσεν.
          Μη. ἀλλ’ ὕβρις οἵ τε σοὶ νεοδμῆτες γάμοι.
          Ια. λέχους σφε κἠξίωσας οὕνεκα κτανεῖν;
          Μη. σμικρὸν γυναικὶ πῆμα τοῦτ’ εἶναι δοκεῖς;
          Ια. ἥτις γε σώφρων· σοὶ δὲ πάντ’ ἐστὶν κακά.
1370  Μη. οἵδ’ οὐκέτ’ εἰσί· τοῦτο γάρ σε δήξεται.
          Ια. οἵδ’ εἰσίν, οἴμοι, σῶι κάραι μιάστορες.
          Μη. ἴσασιν ὅστις ἦρξε πημονῆς θεοί.
          Ια. ἴσασι δῆτα σήν γ’ ἀπόπτυστον φρένα.
Euripides Medea 1363-1373
Ja. Children, what an evil mother you got!
Me. Children, how you have perished by your father’s fault!
Ja. It was not my hand, you know, that killed them.
Me. No: it was the outrage of your new marriage.
Ja. Did you really think it right to kill them because of a marriage?
Me. Do you imagine that loss of this is a trivial grief for a woman?
Ja. For a woman of sense, yes. But you find everything a disaster.
Me. But the children are dead: this will wound you to the quick.
Ja. They live, alas, as spirits to take vengeance on your crimes!
Me. The gods know who struck the first blow.
Ja. Yes, they know indeed your loathesome heart.
Two pairs of utterances, at 1363-1364 and 1370-1371, are especially notable here. [27] Observe that in the repeated elements, not only the meaning, but also the form of each of the second utterances (lines 1364 and 1371), is dependent on the first ones (1363 and 1370). Again, we may use diagraph representations to visualize the affinities.
Figure 2: Diagraphs of Euripides Medea 1363-1364 and 1370-1371












1363 JA. τέκνα μητρὸς ὡς κακῆς ἐκύρσατε
    oh children mother how bad you have









1364 ME. παῖδες {πατρώιαι} ὡς {νόσωι} ὤλεσθε
    oh sons fatherly how by sickness you perished









1370 ME. οἵδ’ οὐκέτ’ εἰσί τοῦτο γάρ σε δήξεται
    these are no more for that will hurt you









1371 JA. οἵδ’ εἰσίν οἴμοι σῶι κάραι μιάστορες
    these are ah me! avengers for your head
In both pairs of utterances, resonance again occurs on several levels. There are lexical similarities, the straight repetition of words (ὦ, ὡς, οἵδ᾽, εἰσί(ν)). [28] Syntactic repetitions are the following: 1363 and 1364 both have the form “vocative + ὡς-exclamative with second person plural verb”; 1370 and 1371 are short declarative sentences with the same verb and the same subject. On a semantic level, the following words have related meanings: τέκνα and παίδες, μητρός and πατρώιαι, κακῆς and νόσωι (both referring to something bad), and σε δήξεται and οἴμοι (both referring to Jason’s pain).
§42. The speakers in this passage change the pragmatic goals of the words and constructions they choose to echo. In 1363, Jason addresses the children in order to blame Medea. She picks up this construction in her utterance, also addressing the children, but in order to blame Jason. In 1370, Medea rubs it in that Jason has lost his children; in his reaction he turns part of the same linguistic material into a threat against her. The passage demonstrates, then, the way resonance occurs in ancient Greek drama to express disagreement and hostility. [29] The phenomenon seen here bears resemblances to the samples observed by Nuolijärvi and Tiittula 2011, and Zima et al. 2008 (see section 3.1.2 above) in the modern political debates they study. Zima et al. 2008 point out that resonance may involve irony, sarcasm, ridiculing, or expressing intellectual superiority; in short, it may “convey dissociative pragmatic purposes” (144).
§43. Aristophanes Frogs provides an example of resonance stressing differences in comedy. In the following passages we find lexical, phonological, semantic, syntactic, and morphological similarities, all working to sarcastic effect. For the audience, this resonance will have been humorous. The context is as follows. The god Dionysus is wearing a Heracles costume, but discovers that it has made him unpopular with some people. As a result he orders his slave Xanthias to wear the costume. But it turns out that “being Heracles” also comes with advantages, and Dionysus wants the costume back (lines 528-531). As soon as Dionysus is wearing the costume again, however, some enemies of Heracles enter. So the frightened god wants to return the dangerous outfit to Xanthias.
(t9)
            (Δι.) κατάθου τὸ δέρμα.
528bis  Ξα.  ταῦτ’ ἐγὼ μαρτύρομαι
                   καὶ τοῖς θεοῖσιν ἐπιτρέπω.
529bis   Δι.  ποίοις θεοῖς;
530             τὸ δὲ προσδοκῆσαί σ’ οὐκ ἀνόητον καὶ κενὸν
                   ὡς δοῦλος ὢν καὶ θνητὸς Ἁλκμήνης ἔσει;
(…)
580       Ξα. οἶδ’ οἶδα τὸν νοῦν· παῦε παῦε τοῦ λόγου.
                   οὐκ ἂν γενοίμην Ἡρακλῆς ἄν.
581bis   Δι.  μηδαμῶς,
                   ὦ Ξανθίδιον.
582bis   Ξα. καὶ πῶς ἂν Ἁλκμήνης ἐγὼ
                   υἱὸς γενοίμην, δοῦλος ἅμα καὶ θνητὸς ὤν;
             Δι. οἶδ’ οἶδ’ ὅτι θυμοῖ, καὶ δικαίως αὐτὸ δρᾷς·
585             κἂν εἴ με τύπτοις, οὐκ ἂν ἀντείποιμί σοι.
Aristophanes Frogs 528-531 and 580-585
(Dionysus wants the Heracles costume back)
Di. Off with that lionskin.
Xa. Witnesses take note! I'm putting this in the gods’ hands.
Di. Gods indeed! And how brainless and vain of you, a mortal slave, to think that you could be Alcmene's son!
(…)
(Dionysus wants Xanthias to wear the costume again)
Xa. I know what you’re thinking, I know. Stop talking, stop it. I’m not going to be Heracles again. [30]
Di. Don’t be that way, Xanthikins.
Xa. And how could I, a mere mortal slave, become Alcmene’s son?
Di. I know you’re angry, I know, and you’ve every right to be. You could even take a punch at me and I wouldn’t complain.
Xanthias picks up several words from Dionysus’ utterances and thereby draws attention to Dionysus’ pragmatic goals. Van Leeuwen 1896 clarifies the similarity with Dionysi verba imitatus as a stage direction in his text. [31] The following diagraph visualization illustrates the instances of resonance triggered here:
Figure 3: Diagraph of Aristophanes Frogs 531 and 582-583

 










531 DI. ὡς Ἁλκμήνης ἔσει {δοῦλος ὢν καὶ θνητὸς}
  that Alcmene’s [son] you’ll be being a slave and mortal









582-3 XA. καὶ πῶς ἂν Ἁλκμήνης {υἱὸς} {ἐγὼ} γενοίμην δοῦλος ἅμα καὶ θνητὸς ὤν
  and how [would]Alcmene’s son I become being both a slave and mortal
Dionysus finds his own words thrown back at him now that he has changed his mind (again). The sarcastic resonance has a humorous effect: not only is Dionysus in this scene extremely inconsistent and opportunistic, Xanthias even manages to point his behavior out to him by reusing the god’s own words.
§44. The word order in the diagraph has been altered to show the similarities between the two utterances more clearly (see note 20), but in the original passages the repetition is done chiastically: δοῦλος ὢν καὶ θνητὸς Ἁλκμήνης ἔσει (531) vs. Ἁλκμήνης ἐγὼ /υἱὸς γενοίμην, δοῦλος ἅμα καὶ θνητὸς ὤν (582-583). [32] In fact the chiastic ordering strengthens the sarcastic effect. Dionysus had first mentioned Xanthias’ characteristics as a mortal slave, and then the idea of him becoming Alcmene’s son. Xanthias in his retort first mentions the idea of him becoming Alcmene’s son—in itself not yet enough to trigger the resonance, because the current scene is about the costume as well—and only then utters the most important words: isn’t he just a slave and a mortal, as Dionysus has said himself?
§45. A question starting with καὶ πῶς often indicates the speaker’s indignation about the addressee’s words, as the construction implies that what the addressee said is impossible. [33] This implication is even stronger with a potential optative. All the linguistic ingredients of this construction work together to convey the sense of indignation, in the following way. First, the particle καί links the new utterance closely to the previous one. [34] The speaker picks up an element from the preceding utterance, such as its main point or topic, and goes on to say something new which involves this element. Second, with the interrogative πῶς the speaker asks “how” a certain event could take place or be carried out. The combination καὶ πῶς therefore often implies that the speaker has his doubts about how something from the previous utterance could be realized. Third, a potential optative concerns the possibility of an event in some circumstances. [35] When the potential optative is employed in combination with καὶ πῶς, the suggestion of impossibility becomes even stronger. Asking about how (πῶς) something would be possible in some circumstances (potential optative), rather than just how it could take place in a concrete situation, usually implies that the event in question is impossible in all circumstances. Since this event tends to be something the other speaker has just spoken of (καί), the current speaker conveys that he is surprised, incredulous, indignant, or even angry, about his addressee’s ridiculous suggestion. [36]
§46. In this case, Xanthias is echoing Dionysus’ earlier indignation in order to express sarcasm. Dionysus was the one who suggested earlier (in 531) that it would be impossible for a mortal slave to “become” Heracles. Now he hears his own suggestion thrown back at him, after he has begged Xanthias to put the costume on again.
§47. Besides these striking similarities, lines 580-585 trigger another instance of resonance. The words οἶδ’ οἶδ(α) (“I know I know”) from Xanthias’ utterance in 580 are repeated by Dionysus in 584. As Dover 1993 ad 584 remarks, the second instance has “an entirely different tone” from the first. The first “I know I know” conveys Xanthias’ intransigent attitude toward Dionysus: “I know what you want, and I won’t grant it, so don’t even ask.” [37] The second conveys understanding on Dionysus’ part, his effort to placate Xanthias by assuming an attitude of mildness and humility: “I know you’re angry, I understand how you feel, you are right.” Dionysus tries to propitiate Xanthias by reusing Xanthias’ words, in the hope that the slave will grant his request.
§48. Finally, the passage twice features a double ἄν with an optative, [38] in 581 and 585, resulting in the following resonance:
Figure 4: Diagraph of Aristophanes Frogs 581 and 585

 










581 XA. οὐκ ἂν γενοίμην Ἡρακλῆς ἄν
  not would I become Heracles [would]









585 DI. οὐκ ἂν ἀντείποιμί σοι {κἂν εἴ με τύπτοις}
  not would I contradict you and [would] if you would hit me
Dionysus echoes Xanthias’ entire construction: he repeats the οὐκ ἄν… ἄν, [39] and uses a formally similar verb (first person aorist optative). In both utterances the potential optative is used to express a strong refusal. [40] Such negative contexts are suitable for the repetition of ἄν. [41] Tucker 1906 ad loc. writes that the repeated ἄν in 581 helps amplify the negative tone. His translation “I wouldn’t—no!—I wouldn’t” also reflects the speaker’s intent to refuse, rather than just negate.
§49. The pragmatic function of the potential optative must therefore be counted as one of the sources of resonance here. In this case Dionysus is using the same verbal construction to ingratiate himself with Xanthias. We can imagine that it would have been amusing for the audience to recognize the similarities across these utterances, and the very different uses to which the same words or constructions are put.

3.2.3 Resonance used by playwrights

3.2.3.1 Resonance stressing a theme
§50. So far I have discussed the pragmatic goals of speaking characters in using resonance. Two uses of resonance have been examined, one where a character repeats elements in order to emphasize unity with the other speaker and his actions, and the other where a character tries to emphasize semantic or pragmatic differences. Yet the characters are not the only ones communicating in a tragedy or comedy. On a metadramatic level, the playwright communicates something to the audience through his characters’ voices. [42] One of the objectives that a poet may achieve on this level, by conspicuously repeating certain linguistic forms, is to stress the play’s central themes. [43]
§51. Let us return to our first Greek example, from Aeschylus Libation Bearers. We have seen in (t6) how Orestes and Electra together invoked their dead father Agamemnon in a prayer. One of the words triggering resonance in (t6) was Orestes’ repetition of the word πάτερ. This word was already prominently used in the kommos (306-478) preceding the prayer (479-510). [44] This resonance strengthens the prominence of the “father” theme. In addition, both the lyric kommos and the iambic prayer that follows contain many other words and forms that bring the vocative πάτερ to mind. The following table gives an overview of all the forms which resonate with πάτερ in these two parts. The vocative πάτερ itself is found twelve times in this passage, a remarkably high number. In all of extant Aeschylus (including fragments), this form is found twenty-nine times; it is by far the most frequent in Libation Bearers, which contains fifteen instances.
Table 1: Resonance with πάτερ in Aeschylus Libation Bearers 306-510
line form speaker types of similarity triggering resonance with πάτερ
315 πάτερ αἰνόπατερ Orestes lexical, phonological, morphological, semantic, pragmatic
329 πάτερων chorus lexical, phonological, semantic
329 τεκόντων chorus semantic
332 πάτερ Electra lexical, phonological, morphological, semantic, pragmatic
338 (δ᾽) ἄτερ Electra phonological
346 πάτερ Orestes lexical, phonological, morphological, semantic, pragmatic
364 πάτερ Electra lexical, phonological, morphological, semantic, pragmatic
381 ἅπερ τε Orestes phonological
385 τοκεῦσι Orestes semantic
404 ἐπ᾽ ἄτῃ chorus phonological
418-419 τάπερ πάθομεν Electra phonological
419 τεκομένων Electra semantic
422 ματρός Electra semantic
430 μᾶτερ Electra semantic
435 πατρός Orestes lexical, phonological, semantic
440 (δ᾽) ἅπερ chorus phonological
443 πατρῴους chorus lexical, phonological, semantic
444 πατρῴον Electra lexical, phonological, semantic
456 πάτερ Orestes lexical, phonological, morphological, semantic, pragmatic
479 πάτερ Orestes lexical, phonological, morphological, semantic, pragmatic
481 πάτερ Electra lexical, phonological, morphological, semantic, pragmatic
487 πατρῴων Electra lexical, phonological, semantic
489 πατέρ᾽(α) Orestes lexical, phonological, semantic
491 πάτερ Orestes lexical, phonological, morphological, semantic, pragmatic
493 πάτερ Orestes lexical, phonological, morphological, semantic, pragmatic
495 πάτερ Orestes lexical, phonological, morphological, semantic, pragmatic
500 πάτερ Electra lexical, phonological, morphological, semantic, pragmatic
The most obvious type of resonance is lexical, triggered by all words with the root πατρ-. Such words produce semantic and phonological resonance as well; vocative forms also share morphology and the pragmatic function of direct address. Furthermore, the words τεκόντων (329), τοκεῦσι (385), τεκομένων (419), ματρός (422), and μᾶτερ (430) trigger semantic resonance, as they all belong to the same semantic sphere as “father.”
§52. The other forms listed in the table, ἄτερ (338), ἅπερ τε (381), ἐπ᾽ ἄτῃ (404), [45] τάπερ πάθομεν (418-419), and ἅπερ (440), do not resemble πάτερ in meaning or function, but they do reflect its sound. The form τάπερ in 418 especially stands out: this is its only occurrence in all of extant tragedy. Similarly, the combination ἐπ᾽ ἄτῃ occurs only in one other place in tragedy. [46] The other words occur more often, but in the context of Libation Bearers it is striking that they all happen to be concentrated in this song: ἄτερ (338) and the two instances of ἅπερ (381 and 440) occur nowhere else in Libation Bearers. These forms should therefore be read as triggering phonological resonance with πάτερ: they ensure that the sound of the πάτερ-address rings in the audience’s ears throughout the scene. Phonological resonance works to emphasize the prominence of the target word, here πάτερ, and thus of its function (appealing to Agamemnon). [47]
§53. At this global level, then, resonance is an important communicative strategy at the poets’ disposal to stress the themes of a play. Let us consider some more cases of this function. For example, in the dialogue between Oedipus and Teiresias in Sophocles Oedipus King 350-368, the concept of “saying” is repeated many times. Pfeiffer-Petersen 1996:79 notes this repetition and interprets it as emphasizing a main theme (96).
§54. The relevant passage is presented in (t10) below. Table 2 gives an overview of the resonance in question and includes the (implied) subject of each “saying” word.
(t10)
350    Τε. ἄληθες; ἐννέπω σὲ τῷ κηρύγματι
               ᾧπερ προεῖπας ἐμμένειν, κἀφ’ ἡμέρας
               τῆς νῦν προσαυδᾶν μήτε τούσδε μήτ’ ἐμέ,
               ὡς ὄντι γῆς τῆσδ’ ἀνοσίῳ μιάστορι.
          Οι. οὕτως ἀναιδῶς ἐξεκίνησας τόδε
355         τὸ ῥῆμα; καὶ ποῦ τοῦτο φεύξεσθαι δοκεῖς;
          Τε. πέφευγα· τἀληθὲς γὰρ ἰσχῦον τρέφω.
          Οι. πρὸς τοῦ διδαχθείς; οὐ γὰρ ἔκ γε τῆς τέχνης.
          Τε. πρὸς σοῦ· σὺ γάρ μ’ ἄκοντα προὐτρέψω λέγειν.
          Οι. ποῖον λόγον; λέγ’ αὖθις, ὡς μᾶλλον μάθω.
360    Τε. οὐχὶ ξυνῆκας πρόσθεν; ἦ ’κπειρᾷ λέγειν;
          Οι. οὐχ ὥστε γ’ εἰπεῖν γνωστόν· ἀλλ’ αὖθις φράσον.
          Τε. φονέα σέ φημι τἀνδρὸς οὗ ζητεῖς δίκας.
          Οι. ἀλλ’ οὔ τι χαίρων δίς γε πημονὰς ἐρεῖς.
          Τε. εἴπω τι δῆτα κἄλλ’, ἵν’ ὀργίζῃ πλέον;
          Οι. ὅσον γε χρῄζεις· ὡς μάτην εἰρήσεται. (365)
          Τε. λεληθέναι σέ φημι σὺν τοῖς φιλτάτοις
               αἴσχισθ’ ὁμιλοῦντ’, οὐδ’ ὁρᾶν ἵν’ εἶ κακοῦ.
          Οι. ἦ καὶ γεγηθὼς ταῦτ’ ἀεὶ λέξειν δοκεῖς;
Sophocles Oedipus King 350-368
Te. So? I call on you to abide by the proclamation you made earlier, and from this day on address neithe these men nor me, since you are the unholy polluter of this land!
Oe. Have you so shamelessly started up this story? How do you think you will escape its consequences?
Te. I have escaped; the truth I nurture has strength.
Oe. From whom have you learned it? Not, I think, from your prophetic art.
Te. From you; it was you who forced me to speak against my will.
Oe. To say what? Tell me again, so that I can understand it better!
Te. Did you not understand before? Are you trying to test me?
Oe. Not so that I can say I know it; come, say it again!
Te. I say that you are the murderer of the man whose murderer you are searching for!
Oe. You shall not get away with speaking disaster twice!
Te. Shall I tell you another thing, to make you even angrier?
Oe. Tell me as much as you please, since your words will be wasted!
Te. I say that you are living unawares in a shameful relationship with those closest to you, and cannot see the plight in which you are.
Oe. Do you believe that you will continue to repeat such things and go scot-free?
Table 2: Constructions referring to “saying” in Sophocles Oedipus King 350-368
line speaker Greek translation (implied) subject
350 Teiresias ἐννέπω (σε) “I tell (you)” Teiresias
351 Teiresias προεῖπας “you have proclaimed” Oedipus
352 Teiresias προσαυδᾶν (μήτε) “(not) to address” Oedipus
354-5 Oedipus (ἐξεκίνησας) τόδε /τὸ ῥῆμα “(you have started) this story” Teiresias
358 Teiresias (προὐτρέψω) λέγειν “(you urged me) to speak” Teiresias
359 Oedipus (ποῖον) λόγον “(which) word” Teiresias
359 Oedipus λέγ’ (αὖθις) “say it (again)” Teiresias
360 Teiresias λέγειν “to say” Teiresias
361 Oedipus (οὐχ ὥστε γ’) εἰπεῖν “(not in order) to say” Oedipus
361 Oedipus (αὖθις) φράσον “tell it (again)” Teiresias
362 Teiresias (σέ) φημι “I say (that you)” Teiresias
363 Oedipus ἐρεῖς “you will say” Teiresias
364 Teiresias εἴπω (τι) “shall I say (something)” Teiresias
365 Oedipus (μάτην) εἰρήσεται “(in vain) it will be said” Teiresias
366 Teiresias (σέ) φημι “I say (that you)” Teiresias
368 Oedipus λέξειν (δοκεῖς) “(you think) that you will say” Teiresias
These sixteen resonating elements in nineteen lines emphasize the importance of the “saying” theme at this point in the play. Thirteen of these constructions have or imply Teiresias as subject, a fact that highlights the special nature and power of his utterances. As Bollack 1990 ad lines 356-358 points out, Oedipus himself is the “author” of Teiresias’ words. [48] That is, though Oedipus does not know it, he is actually responsible for Teiresias’ “story.” [49]
§55. In Oedipus King we also find a resonance of the theme “parents,” for instance in the following passage. Oedipus has just revealed the prophecy concerning his parents in the course of explaining why he never returned to Corinth. The Corinthian messenger now tells Oedipus that he was wrong to stay away for this reason.
(t11)
          Αγ. ἦ μὴ μίασμα τῶν φυτευσάντων λάβῃς;
          Οι. τοῦτ’ αὐτό, πρέσβυ, τοῦτό μ’ εἰσαεὶ φοβεῖ.
          Αγ. ἆρ’ οἶσθα δῆτα πρὸς δίκης οὐδὲν τρέμων;
1015  Οι. πῶς δ’ οὐχί, παῖς γ’ εἰ τῶνδε γεννητῶν ἔφυν;
          Αγ. ὁθούνεκ’ ἦν σοι Πόλυβος οὐδὲν ἐν γένει.
          Οι. πῶς εἶπας; οὐ γὰρ Πόλυβος ἐξέφυσέ με;
          Αγ. οὐ μᾶλλον οὐδὲν τοῦδε τἀνδρός, ἀλλ’ ἴσον.
          Οι. καὶ πῶς ὁ φύσας ἐξ ἴσου τῷ μηδενί;
1020  Αγ. ἀλλ’ οὔ σ’ ἐγείνατ’ οὔτ’ ἐκεῖνος οὔτ’ ἐγώ.
          Οι. ἀλλ’ ἀντὶ τοῦ δὴ παῖδά μ’ ὠνομάζετο;
Sophocles Oedipus King 1012-1021
Me. Is it so that you shall not acquire pollution through your parents?
Oe. Exactly that, old man, that is what always frightens me.
Me. Do you not know that you have no reason to be afraid?
Oe. But I must, if indeed these are my parents!
Me. Because Polybus was no relation to you!
Oe. What are you saying? Was not Polybus my father?
Me. No more than I was, but just as much!
Oe. And how can my father be as much my father as one who is nothing to me?
Me. Well, neither he nor I begot you.
Oe. But why did he call me his son?
The concept of “parent” recurs in seven out of the ten speaking turns in this passage. A diagraph visualization clarifies the similarities and differences among the resonating elements:
Figure 5: Diagraph of Sophocles Oedipus King 1012-1021: parental terms





































1012 ME. ἦ μὴ μίασμα τῶν φυτευσάντων λάβῃς
  really? so that not a pollution of the begetters you would get
(…)        
1015 OE. πῶς δ’ οὐχί {εἰ} {παῖς γ’} τῶνδε γεννητῶν ἔφυν
  but how not if a child of these parents I am (born)
1016 ME. ὁθούνεκ’ ἦν σοι Πόλυβος οὐδὲν ἐν γένει  
  since Polybus was nothing to you in kinship  
1017 OE. πῶς εἶπας οὐ γὰρ Πόλυβος ἐξέφυσέ με  
  how did you say, for not Polybus begot me  
(…)        
1019 OE. καὶ πῶς ὁ φύσας ἐξ ἴσου τῷ μηδενί
  and how the father equally to the nothing
1020 ME. ἀλλ’ οὔ σ’ ἐγείνατ’ οὔτ’ ἐκεῖνος οὔτ’ ἐγώ
  but not he begot you nor that man nor I
1021 OE. ἀλλ’ ἀντὶ τοῦ δὴ παῖδά μ’ ὠνομάζετο  
  but why then he called me his son  
The passage displays a high frequency as well as a great variety of parental terms. This underlines the paramount importance of (the identity of) Oedipus’ parents. The word πατήρ itself is conspicuously absent here, but it was used shortly before in the same dialogue (line 1001). [50] The idea of “father” or “parents” ominously hovers over the words of the two speakers, and, as the audience knows, over Oedipus’ head.
§56. Note also the repetition of Πόλυβος in lines 1016-1017. Mentioning this name is a semantically heavy choice, as it is not needed for retrieving the right referent. [51] Especially in 1017, a demonstrative pronoun would certainly have been sufficient for that. The repetition of the name thus places an ominous emphasis on Polybus and the crucial issue of his true relationship to Oedipus. [52] Comparison with the other instances of the word confirms the reading of Πόλυβος in 1016 and 1017 as a strikingly heavy reference, because not all other cases are semantically optional. For example, in 774 we find ἐμοὶ πατὴρ μὲν Πόλυβος ἦν Κορίνθιος, “my father was Polybus the Corinthian…”.
3.2.3.2 Resonance characterizing a speaker and an interaction
§57. A playwright can also use resonance to characterize a speaker, or an interaction and the interlocutors’ relationship to each other, in a certain way. [53] For example, a speaker’s repeated use of a certain word may signal her special preoccupations and concerns. If she uses certain grammatical constructions or literary figures of speech very often, this may mark her habits of interaction.
§58. Griffith 1999:36 observes that the differences between Antigone and Creon in Sophocles Antigone are reflected in “their respective diction and speech patterns.” For instance, the king often uses generalizations and gnômai. [54] Similarities across Creon’s utterances, then, trigger resonance in ways that reveal aspects of his character.
§59. Aeschylus Libation Bearers provides an example of resonance characterizing an interaction, namely the one between Electra and Orestes (see (t6) and Figure 1 above). Since Electra is always echoing Orestes, her communicative style reflects her assumption of the subordinate position. As noted by Groeneboom and Garvie, Orestes is taking the lead in this prayer. Garvie points out that it is natural for Orestes to be leading: he has just made the decision to perform the murder, so he is now taking the initiative. [55]
§60. In Sophocles Oedipus King 1015-1019, cited in (t11), we find Oedipus beginning three questions with πῶς: the lexical repetition highlights the illocutionary function (asking for information) shared by the utterances. Kamerbeek 1967 ad loc. notes the repetition and adduces a comparable sequence of questions in lines 99-131, where Oedipus is addressing Creon. That earlier dialogue presents a sequence of eight interrogatives by the king (one with πῶς).
§61. The recurrence of an interrogative illocutionary force can trigger resonance, just as lexical, semantic, or syntactic similarities do. In this case this “illocutionary resonance” is strengthened by phonological similarities. Seven out of the eight questions in 99-131 start with the sound π(ο)-: ποίῳ (99), ποίου (102), ποῦ (108), πότερα (112), ποῖον (120), πῶς (124), and ποῖον (128). [56] Such resonance across utterances by the same speaker helps characterize him. [57] Oedipus is presented as a fanatic investigator who asks many questions—which stresses that he nevertheless does not know anything about his own identity.
§62. We can also see resonance characterizing an interaction in Sophocles Ajax 527-545, an exchange between Ajax and Tecmessa:
(t12)
530    Αι. κόμιζέ νύν μοι παῖδα τὸν ἐμόν, ὡς ἴδω.
(...)
          Τε. τί δῆτ’ ἂν ὡς ἐκ τῶνδ’ ἂν ὠφελοῖμί σε;
          Αι. δός μοι προσειπεῖν αὐτὸν ἐμφανῆ τ’ ἰδεῖν.
          Τε. καὶ μὴν πέλας γε προσπόλοις φυλάσσεται.
540    Αι. τί δῆτα μέλλει μὴ οὐ παρουσίαν ἔχειν
          Τε. ὦ παῖ, πατὴρ καλεῖ σε. δεῦρο προσπόλων
               ἄγ’ αὐτὸν ὅσπερ χερσὶν εὐθύνων κυρεῖς.
(...)
545    Αι. αἶρ’ αὐτόν, αἶρε δεῦρο· (...)
Part of Sophocles Ajax 530-545
Aj. Then bring me my son, so that I can see him!
(...)
Te. What can I do to help you as things stand now?
Aj. Let me speak to him and see him face to face!
Te. Indeed, the servants are guarding him near by.
Aj. Why am I kept waiting for his presence?
Te. My son, your father is calling you! Come, whichever of you attendants is guiding him, bring him here!
(...)
Aj. Lift him up, lift him up here!
The dialogue from lines 527 to 545 contains seventeen utterances: nine by Ajax, eight by Tecmessa. Of these, Ajax utters four directive utterances (530, 538, 540, [58] 545), three addressed to Tecmessa, one to a different servant. Tecmessa utters only one directive (542), addressed to another slave. That Ajax’s speech has directive illocutionary force so much more often than Tecmessa’s underlines the power differential between the two interlocutors. [59]
3.2.3.3 Resonance used for humor
§63. A use of resonance typical in comedy is making jokes. Lucci 2011 discusses wordplay in tragedy (which includes repetition and antithesis) in a similar vein: he considers wordplay to be “inherently comic” because it yields “situations of surprise, coincidence, and incongruity.” In contrast to wordplay, the broader process of resonance is not humorous in principle. The examples I discussed in the previous subsections show that highlighting affinities across utterances may have very different functions from joking, such as stressing disagreement or a play’s themes. However, I do see humor as one of the possible functions of resonance, at least in Aristophanes.
§64. In addition to repetition of words or constructions, repetition of particular actions can increase a scene’s humorous effect, as in the following passage, from a dialogue involving the Athenian magistrate and several women (Lysistrata and three others) on the Acropolis. Several moves (that is, multi-act units) performed in this passage are echoes of earlier moves: [60]
(t13)
          Πρ. ἄληθες, ὦ μιαρὰ σύ; ποῦ ’στι τοξότης;
                ξυλλάμβαν’ αὐτὴν κὠπίσω τὼ χεῖρε δεῖ.
435    Λυ. εἰ τἄρα νὴ τὴν Ἄρτεμιν τὴν χεῖρά μοι
                ἄκραν προσοίσει, δημόσιος ὢν κλαύσεται.
          Πρ. ἔδεισας, οὗτος; οὐ ξυναρπάσει μέσην
                καὶ σὺ μετὰ τούτου χἀνύσαντε δήσετον;
          ΓΡΑΥΣ Αʹ. εἰ τἄρα νὴ τὴν Πάνδροσον ταύτῃ μόνον
440           τὴν χεῖρ’ ἐπιβαλεῖς, ἐπιχεσεῖ πατούμενος.
          Πρ. ἰδού γ’ ἐπιχεσεῖ. ποῦ ’στιν ἕτερος τοξότης;
                ταύτην προτέραν ξύνδησον, ὁτιὴ καὶ λαλεῖ.
          ΓΡ. Βʹ εἰ τἄρα νὴ τὴν Φωσφόρον τὴν χεῖρ’ ἄκραν
                ταύτῃ προσοίσεις, κύαθον αἰτήσεις τάχα.
445    Πρ. τουτὶ τί ἦν; ποῦ τοξότης; ταύτης ἔχου.
                παύσω τιν’ ὑμῶν τῆσδ’ ἐγὼ τῆς ἐξόδου.
          ΓΡΑΥΣ Γʹ εἰ τἄρα νὴ τὴν Ταυροπόλον ταύτῃ πρόσει,
                ἐγὼ ’κποκιῶ σου τὰς στενοκωκύτους τρίχας.
          Πρ. οἴμοι κακοδαίμων· ἐπιλέλοιφ’ ὁ τοξότης.
Aristophanes Lysistrata 433-449
Ma. Really, you witch! Where’s a policeman? Grab her and tie both hands behind her back.
Ly. If he so much as touches me with his fingertip, mere public servant that he is, so help me Artemis he’ll go home crying!
Ma. What, are you scared? You there, help him out; grab her around the waist and tie her up, on the double!
Woman 1. If you so much as lay a hand on her, so help me Pandrosos, I’ll beat the shit out of you!
Ma. Beat the shit out of me? Where’s another policeman? Tie her up first, the one with the dirty mouth!
Wo.2. If you raise your fingertip to her, so help me our Lady of Light, you’ll be begging for an eye cup!
Ma. What’s going on? Where is a policeman? Arrest her. I'll foil at least one of these sallies of yours!
Wo.3. If you come near her, so help me Tauropolus, I’ll rip out your hair till you scream!
Ma. Damn my luck, I’m out of policemen.
In this scene, four actions are repeated: the magistrate calls out for a policeman, the magistrate orders this policeman to grab and/or tie up one of the women, a woman threatens to do him some violence, and the policeman runs away. The last repeated action is not expressed in words, and can therefore not be shown in a diagraph, but it can be inferred from the fact that the magistrate has to call out for a new policeman. We can imagine the humorous effect of the policemen running away one by one. The repetition of all these actions naturally leads to many similarities in the language of the successive utterances, as shown in diagraph representations:
Figure 6: Diagraphs of Aristophanes Lysistrata 433-449

























433 MA. ἄληθες ὦ μιαρὰ σύ ποῦ ’στι τοξότης  
  really you ugly one where is a policeman  
437-8 MA. ἔδεισας οὗτος (…) / καὶ σὺ μετὰ τούτου (…)
  are you afraid, you you too, with this one  
441 MA. ἰδού γ’ ἐπιχεσεῖ ποῦ ’στιν ἕτερος τοξότης  
  well well, he shit where is another policeman  
445 MA. τουτὶ τί ἦν ποῦ τοξότης ταύτης ἔχου
  what was this where [is] a policeman get her
449 MA. οἴμοι κακοδαίμων ἐπιλέλοιφ’ ὁ τοξότης  
  ah me, my bad luck the policeman has left  



















434 MA. ξυλλάμβαν’ αὐτὴν κὠπίσω τὼ χεῖρε δεῖ    
  grab her and bind her hands behind her back    
437-8 MA. (…) οὐ ξυναρπάσει μέσην /χἀνύσαντε δήσετον {καὶ σὺ μετὰ τούτου}
    won’t you seize her waist /and both of you quickly tie [her] up you too, with him
442 MA. ταύτην προτέραν ξύνδησον (…)  
  tie this one up first    
445 MA. (…) ταύτης ἔχου  
    get her  




















435-6 LY. εἰ τἄρα νὴ τὴν Ἄρτεμιν τὴν χεῖρά μοι /ἄκραν προσοίσει (…) κλαύσεται
  if hey by Artemis he’ll stretch the tip of his hand to me he’ll cry
439-40 WO1; εἰ τἄρα νὴ τὴν Πάνδροσον ταύτῃ μόνον /τὴν χεῖρ’ ἐπιβαλεῖς ἐπιχεσεῖ πατούμενος
  if hey by Pandrosos you’ll just touch her with your hand you’ll be beaten and shit
443-4 WO2; εἰ τἄρα νὴ τὴν Φωσφόρον τὴν χεῖρ’ ἄκραν /ταύτῃ προσοίσεις κύαθον αἰτήσεις τάχα
  if hey by Phosphoros you’ll stretch the tip of his hand to her you’ll soon ask an eye cup
447-8 WO3; εἰ τἄρα νὴ τὴν Ταυροπόλον ταύτῃ πρόσει /ἐγὼ ᾽κποκιῶ σου τὰς στενοκωκύτους τρίχας
  if hey by Tauropolos you’ll go near her I’ll pull out your hair till you scream
The first diagraph shows how the beginnings of the magistrate’s utterances resemble each other: he utters first a reaction to the unfortunate situation he finds himself him, and then a call for a policeman. The second of these calling moves (καὶ σὺ μετὰ τούτου) is very different in form from the others, but it still has the same pragmatic function as those, to signal a switch to a new policeman. The last instance of τοξότης “policeman” in 449 is part of the scene’s climax, which the audience expects: the magistrate has no more policemen left. [61]
§65. In the second diagraph, we can see the magistrate’s orders. Though each order is different in form (different verbal roots, both singular and dual forms, interrogative as well as imperative sentence types, aorist next to present imperatives), they all share the same function, to order someone to grab one of the women and tie her up. Regardless of how the magistrate formulates his command, he is equally unsuccessful.
§66. The third diagraph concerns the women’s threats. These moves have a similar function as well as strongly resemble each other in form. They all have the structure “oath + protasis (condition) + apodosis (consequence).” All the oaths invoke some female goddess (appropriate in a fight between women and men). All the protases involve a policeman starting or trying to do some harm. [62] All the apodoses predict violence or someone’s reaction to violence. The utterances also trigger a lexical resonance of εἰ τἄρα νὴ τὴν. As Henderson 1987 ad loc. points out, the ἄρα marks the threat’s connection to the previous utterance by the magistrate: “if that’s the way you want it…”. [63] The τοι, paraphrased by Henderson as “be sure,” underlines what the women say and addresses the threatened man even more directly. [64]
§67. All in all, the women’s threats, though spoken by four different speakers, are more similar to each other than the magistrate’s orders, spoken by one person. The women thus prove themselves loyal and cooperating, whereas the men are presented as chaotic and disobedient, with the magistrate standing alone. However, Henderson 1987 ad loc. also notes a difference among the women’s threats: unlike the other women, Lysistrata does not address the policeman directly (Henderson explains this as “beneath her dignity”).
§68. What makes the scene amusing is the very recurrence of this sequence of four actions. It would have been hardly remarkable if Lysistrata had frightened away just one policeman: the scene would have told us something about this character’s power, but it would not have made the audience laugh, to see cowardly men being repeatedly defeated. The second, third, and fourth occurrences of the actions draw attention to the first ones through their form and/or function: they resonate. This resonance becomes a source of humor in itself: it is not only humorous that the magistrate and his armed policemen are defeated easily by verbally aggressive women, it is also humorous that the defeat happens again and again.
§69. A similar joke involving repetition occurs in Frogs 1198-1247, where the character Aeschylus verbally “attacks” the character Euripides with a little oil flask: Aeschylus repeatedly attaches the oil flask as a tag to the prologues recited by Euripides. In a detailed discussion of this passage, Collins 2004:32-43 points out that the action revolves around a game of capping. [65] Participial enjambment, Collins argues, makes it possible for Aeschylus to repeatedly substitute the end of the lines with ληκύθιον ἀπώλεσεν “lost his little oil flask.” [66] Hence in this scene it is not only the literal repetition of Aeschylus’ utterances that triggers resonance to comic effect, but also the repetitive grammatical construction of Euripides’ recited prologues, which all contain participles. Collins adduces a number of other examples for comparison, the most notable being a scene in Birds 974-990 in which Peisetaerus is harassed by a deceitful oracle monger. Here the move λαβὲ τὸ βιβλίον “take the book” is uttered three times by the same speaker, the oracle monger. Peisetaerus subsequently echoes these words in a hostile fashion. The addressee is thus “defeated” by having his own words hurled back at him.
3.2.3.4 Resonance creating parody
§70. Another Aristophanic use of resonance involves referring to tragedy or other genres through direct quotation or allusion to themes or linguistic characteristics. Aristophanes Frogs 1119-1410, with its literal citations of tragedy, constitutes an obvious example. This comedy is also full of subtler references to the style of the tragedians. For example, it parodies tragic metre. [67]
§71. An utterance by the Athenian magistrate in Aristophanes Lysistrata 450, ἀτὰρ [68] οὐ γυναικῶν οὐδέποτ’ ἔσθ’ ἡττητέα (“but we must never be defeated by women”), provides us with a more specific instance of such cross-genre resonance. As Van Leeuwen 1903 and Griffith 1999 note, this line refers to Sophocles Antigone 678, in which Creon says, κοὔτοι γυναικὸς οὐδαμῶς ἡσσητέα (“and not, you know, should we in any way be defeated by a woman”). The linguistic similarities are striking: both utterances contain a double negation, the word γυνή in the genitive, and ἡττητέα/ἡσσητέα in their only occurrences in extant Greek literature. Since the first performances of Antigone and Lysistrata were about thirty years apart, it is unclear whether the audience of Lysistrata would have noticed the allusion to Sophocles. [69] The spectators may have been familiar with Antigone through reperformance or quotations. Perhaps they only noted a general similarity in tone between the two utterances. In the tragedy, Creon’s attitude has fatal consequences, first for Antigone, and later for Creon and his family as well. The echo in Aristophanes, on the other hand, signals that the magistrate would like to emulate Creon’s authoritarianism, but he ends up being defeated by women after all. The audience of Lysistrata could have been amused by this mentality resonance between the magistrate and Sophocles’ Creon.
§72. Another feature of Aristophanic parody involves his use of abstract nouns ending in –μα, discussed by Willi 2003:136-139 and 2012 (see further Barrett 2007). Willi points out that this morphological echo occurs in combination with other typically tragic features, signaling paratragedy. The “tragic” character Euripides in Aristophanes Acharnians 393-434 uses many of such features, whereas his “comic” interlocutor Dicaeopolis does not.

3.2.4 Conclusions about resonance in tragedy and comedy

§73. To sum up, the communicative strategy of resonance is relevant to Greek drama in general. We have so far seen several functions and forms: speakers achieve their communicative goals within an interaction by exploiting similarities between one utterance and another, and playwrights employ this strategy for their own goals on a different level. Characters use resonance to stress solidarity with another speaker and to express dissent. Poets make use of resonance to underline a play’s themes, to depict character, to make jokes, and to parody. As for different forms, we have seen examples of lexical, phonological, morphological, syntactic, semantic, pragmatic, and illocutionary similarities, all of which may trigger resonance. Very often these kinds of similarities are found working in combination with each other in a single passage. The variety in functions and forms of resonance reflects its communicative importance, for characters as well as playwrights.

3.3 The role of particles in the process of resonance

3.3.1 Particles indicating how resonance is used

§74. When a speaker is deliberately echoing a certain element from a previous utterance and wishes to call attention to this resonance, she may stress and clarify it with a particle. That is, some particles are suitable for indicating what a speaker does in picking up a certain element from a previous utterance.
§75. Such resonance-clarifying particles tend to be found at the beginnings of utterances: a natural position to echo an element from the previous utterance. Exceptions do occur, for example when a speaker in a long monologue appears to conduct a “dialogue with herself,” as we shall see. The focus will be on five particles or particle combinations that can be linked, in some of their functions, to the process of resonance: γε, δέ γε/δέ… γε, δῆτα, καί, and γάρ.
3.3.1.1 γε
§76. The particle γε is ideally suited to signaling that a speaker picks up and singles out one specific element from the last utterance; it has a “zooming-in” effect. In addition, γε indicates that the speaker is giving a new twist to the element that was singled out. In such contexts γε not only indicates how resonance is used but also emphasizes the resonance itself, by drawing particular attention to the repeated element’s use in the original utterance. [70]
§77. The general function of γε in drama can be described as as singling out one element of the discourse, in implicit contrast to something else. [71] This function is subjective, that is, it refers to attitudes of the speaker towards the discourse, as well as intersubjective, which means that this function is connected to the speaker’s interaction with her addressee. [72] This description of γε mainly follows those of Hartung 1832, Kühner 1835, Stephens 1837, and Bäumlein 1861. [73] Hancock 1917 in his study on tragic stichomythia also remarks on γε. He notes that the particle is frequently used at the beginning of utterances (27) “to pick up a whole phrase or sentence in assent which is at once qualified by a further clause.” [74] That is, in Du Boisian terms, γε can be used at the start of utterances that trigger resonance with a preceding utterance; the particle then signals that the speaker puts a new spin on the echoed material.
§78. With these considerations in mind, let us look at the uses of γε in resonating contexts. The element highlighted by γε does not have to be uttered explicitly in the original turn of speaking: it is usually an implicit element that can be inferred from this earlier utterance. The speaker of the γε turn presents this element as highly relevant. Here is an example:
(t14)
           Λυ. συνεπόμνυθ’ ὑμεῖς ταῦτα πᾶσαι;
           ΠΑΣΑΙ νὴ Δία.
238bis Λυ. φέρ’ ἐγὼ καθαγίσω τήνδε—
           Κα. τὸ μέρος γ’, ὦ φίλη.
239bis Λυ. ὅπως ἂν ὦμεν εὐθὺς ἀλλήλων φίλαι.
Aristophanes Lysistrata 237-239
Ly. So swear you one and all?
All. So swear we all!
Ly. [75] All right, then, I'll consecrate the cup.
Ca. Only your share, my friend; let’s make sure we’re all on friendly terms from the very start.
Calonice builds upon the meaning and structure of the preceding utterance, yet adds a crucial qualification: Lysistrata should drink only part of the wine. As Henderson 1987 ad loc. remarks, Calonice “fears that Lysistrata might drink all the wine herself.” It is this—for Calonice frightening—alternative that is implicitly invoked by τὸ μέρος γ’. The scope of γε does not extend beyond this discourse act, [76] but because τὸ μέρος builds upon the preceding utterance, the particle’s contribution—highlighting this element and hinting at implicit alternatives—clarifies how the speaker intends to use the resonance here. [77]
§79. A speaker using γε in a resonating utterance, then, singles out a specific element to steer the discourse in a new direction. Therefore this use of γε is quite compatible with contexts of disagreement. Consider the example below, part of the dialogue between Jason and Medea already cited in (t8). [78]
(t15)
Ια. λέχους σφε κἠξίωσας οὕνεκα κτανεῖν;
Μη. σμικρὸν γυναικὶ πῆμα τοῦτ’ εἶναι δοκεῖς;
Ια. ἥτις γε σώφρων· σοὶ δὲ πάντ’ ἐστὶν κακά.
Euripides Medea 1367-1369
Ja. Did you really think it right to kill them because of a marriage?
Me. Do you imagine that loss of this is a trivial grief for a woman?
Ja. For a woman of sense, yes. But you find everything a disaster.
In line 1369, Jason’s construction ἥτις γε, which stands elliptically for [ταύτῃ] γ᾽ ἥτις (Flacelière 1970 ad loc.), refers to Medea’s γυναικί from 1368. γε signals and highlights that he is putting a new spin on this word: the particle emphasizes the discourse act “woman with sense” (ἥτις σώφρων), implying a contrast to a woman without sense, the kind of woman Jason suggests Medea is. [79] In the rest of his utterance he makes explicit this contrast between Medea and a sensible woman, through the pronoun σοί and the boundary-marking particle δέ.
3.3.1.2 δέ γε/δέ… γε
§80. More often than turn-initial γε on its own, we find the turn-initial combination δέ γε/δέ… γε in resonating utterances. For the particular interpretation that described here, the two particles do not need to be contiguous, [80] nor to both have scope over their entire discourse act; they only need to occur within the same discourse act. [81] The construction is the most frequent in the aggressive dialogues of Aristophanes, especially in Knights, where combative capping plays an important role. [82] Hartung 1832:382 describes δέ in this combination as introducing an adversative element, while γε indicates “Entgegensetzung” (“opposition,” “contrast,” “confrontation”). In milder terms, Paley 1888:17 writes that δέ γε expresses “assent” with “some demur or reservation.” Neil 1901:191 and Denniston 1950:153 observe that the combination is often used in drama and Plato in “retorts.” [83] In such contexts, Neil writes, the second speaker “wishes to cap [the statement of the first] or to bring in a consideration on the other side.”
§81. The following passage from Sophocles Ajax presents an example of turn-initial δέ γε in a resonating context. In this scene Menelaus wants to forbid Teucer to bury his half-brother Ajax.
(t16)
          Με. ἤδη ποτ’ εἶδον ἄνδρ’ ἐγὼ γλώσσῃ θρασὺν
                 ναύτας ἐφορμήσαντα χειμῶνος τὸ πλεῖν,
                 ᾧ φθέγμ’ ἂν οὐκ ἐνηῦρες, ἡνίκ’ ἐν κακῷ
1145         χειμῶνος εἴχετ’, (...)
1150  Τευ. ἐγὼ δέ γ’ ἄνδρ’ ὄπωπα μωρίας πλέων,
                  ὃς ἐν κακοῖς ὕβριζε τοῖσι τῶν πέλας.
Part of Sophocles Ajax 1142-1151
Me. In the past I have seen a man of reckless speech urging sailors to sail during a storm. But one heard no word from him when he was in the grip of the storm's attack; (…)
Te. And I have seen a man full of stupidity, who harried others in their time of troubles.
Teucer takes over Menelaus’ construction “I have seen a man” as well as his move’s pragmatic goal: to compare the interlocutor to a negative image. [84] Both speakers mention “a man” in general, and then make it clear that they are in fact insulting their addressee. With the particle δέ, Teucer marks his new turn as a separate, new step in the discourse. [85] At the same time, γε indicates that he builds upon the previous utterance, putting a new spin on the echoed material and highlighting his own subjective view. The construction consisting of (1) δέ, (2) γε (both in the turn’s first discourse act), and (3) resonance with the preceding utterance has a very specific function: it marks the juxtaposition of a particular new step—a step that conveys hostility—to the preceding utterance. The particle combination clarifies how the speaker intends to use his echo; paying attention to the use of resonance therefore helps to understand why we find δέ γε/δέ… γε here and in other resonating and hostile contexts.
§82. The hostile new step in this and several other cases contains a reference to the first person. In this way the speaker juxtaposes her own (current or future) action, view, or experience to that of her addressee, for instance to threaten him. Another example is Pentheus’ order to tie up Dionysus (ἐγὼ δὲ δεῖν γε, “and I [say]: ‘do bind him!’” Euripides Bacchae 505) in reaction to Dionysus’ “I say: ‘do not bind me’” αὐδῶ με μὴ δεῖν, 504). [86] In other resonating utterances with δέ γε/δέ… γε we find a second-person reference:
(t17)
          (Πε.) οἶσθ’ ᾧ μάλιστ’ ἔοικας ἐπτερωμένος;
805             εἰς εὐτέλειαν χηνὶ συγγεγραμμένῳ.
             Ευ. σὺ δὲ κοψίχῳ γε σκάφιον ἀποτετιλμένῳ.
Aristophanes Birds 804-806
(Pe.) Know what you look just like in those wings? A painted goose , done cheaply!
Eu. And you look like a blackbird with a bowl cut!
Peisetaerus describes his friend’s new bird costume in 804-805 in a rather unfriendly way. In response, Euelpides utters a hostile, scornful description of Peisetaerus’ own appearance. [87] Together with σύ and the resonance triggered by utterance’s similarity to the previous utterance, the turn-initial particle combination δέ γε/δέ… γε marks the juxtaposition of an insult or reproach in reaction to a previous insult or reproach. [88]
§83. Other resonating utterances with δέ γε/δέ… γε put a counter-argument next to a previously uttered argument. An example occurs in Aeschylus Libation Bearers 921: Clytemnestra has just argued that it is painful for women to be kept apart from their husband (ἀνδρός), but Orestes counters τρέφει δέ γ’ ἀνδρὸς μόχθος ἡμένας ἔσω, “it’s the man’s labour that feeds the women sitting at home.” [89] Also in this case the particle combination clarifies the use of conscious engagement between utterances. For the analysis of these particles it is therefore essential to take into account more co-text than just their host utterance.
3.3.1.3 δῆτα
§84. The Medea dialogue cited in (t8) also contains an occurrence of the particle δῆτα, here repeated:
(t18)
Μη. ἴσασιν ὅστις ἦρξε πημονῆς θεοί.
Ια. ἴσασι δῆτα σήν γ’ ἀπόπτυστον φρένα.
Euripides Medea 1372-1373
Me. The gods know who struck the first blow.
Ja. Yes, they know indeed your loathesome heart.
The role of this particle, which is confined almost entirely to dialogues, [90] depends on the illocutionary force of the utterance, that is whether the utterance is an assertion or a question (or, more rarely, a directive). Let us first consider δῆτα in assertions, such as in the Medea dialogue. According to Hartung 1832:305 and Kühner 1835:389-390, δῆτα in answers emphatically expresses total agreement. Similarly, Bäumlein 1861:108 and Paley 1881:25 note that δῆτα may affirm a word repeated from another speaker. This affirming function is what we have in our example: Jason echoes ἴσασι from the previous utterance, apparently to concur with the claim that “the gods know.” However, the rest of his utterance shows that the initial “agreement” was ironic, and turns it into a hostile sentiment. Again γε is used to zoom in on a specific element that was not explicitly mentioned by the previous speaker. This element, σὴν ἀπόπτυστον φρένα, “your detested mind,” changes the utterance’s pragmatic goal. [91] Thus in this case a speaker employs resonance to highlight his disagreement with another speaker.
§85. This use of δῆτα, marking complete and often vehement agreement with a word taken over from a previous utterance, is relatively frequent in tragedy and comedy. [92] The echoed element is often a negation, which consequently receives strong emphasis. [93] Paley 1881:25 speaks of “strong and indignant denial” expressed by οὐ δῆτα, translating it as “no indeed!” with an exclamation mark. In several cases, δῆτα with a negation (whether repeated or not) is followed by γε: thus δῆτα emphasizes the negation, and γε then marks which specific element involved in this negation is singled out as the most relevant by the speaker. [94] δῆτα is also found, especially in comedy, after lexical echoes in directive utterances, such as orders or requests, where it has a similar emotional strengthening effect. For example, Pfeiffer-Petersen 1996:84 draws attention to δῆτα in Sophocles Oedipus King 445. Here the angry Oedipus picks up κόμιζε from Teiresias’ utterance in 444 with the stronger κομιζέτω δῆθ’. In such cases impatience is often implied. [95]
§86. δῆτα appears most frequently in questions. The function of such questions—the function, that is, of δῆτα in combination with the interrogative illocutionary force of the utterance—is to pass over to something new, which is nonetheless linked to the preceding utterance. More specifically, the particle indicates that the question springs from what was just said. [96] Even when there are no explicit repetitions from a previous utterance, δῆτα points in this way to the dialogic relation between the speaker’s and her interlocutor’s speech. Thus, a δῆτα question highlights a conscious topical similarity with a previous utterance. At the same time, by asking about something which would otherwise not be discussed, it opens a new move, and a new direction in the discourse. [97] Since the speaker usually expects an immediate answer, δῆτα questions tend to carry an air of impatience or urgency. [98]
§87. The new topic raised by the speaker through δῆτα questions sometimes seem completely unrelated to the preceding conversation, but in these cases the relevance of the new topic becomes clear a few speaking turns later. [99] A striking instance of this use of δῆτα comes from Euripides Bacchae, where the δῆτα question produces an ironic effect for the audience. [100] The dialogue excerpted below takes places between Cadmus and his daughter Agaue, after she has unknowingly killed her son Pentheus. Cadmus already knows about this disaster—and so does the audience.
(t19)
          Κα. ἐς ποῖον ἦλθες οἶκον ὑμεναίων μέτα;
          Αγ. Σπαρτῶι μ’ ἔδωκας, ὡς λέγουσ’, Ἐχίονι.
1275  Κα. τίς οὖν ἐν οἴκοις παῖς ἐγένετο σῶι πόσει;
          Αγ. Πενθεύς, ἐμῆι τε καὶ πατρὸς κοινωνίαι.
          Κα. τίνος πρόσωπον δῆτ’ ἐν ἀγκάλαις ἔχεις;
          Αγ. λέοντος, ὥ γ’ ἔφασκον αἱ θηρώμεναι.
Euripides Bacchae 1273-1278
Ca. To what household did you come at your marriage?
Ag. You married me to Echion, one of the Sown Men, they say.
Ca. Well, what son was born in that house to your husband?
Ag. Pentheus, his father’s son and mine.
Ca. Whose head do you have in your hands then?
Ag. The hunters told me it is a lion’s.
With his first two questions about Agaue’s husband and son, Cadmus tries to bring her to her senses after her Bacchic frenzy. If she does remember these persons, she might realize that she is holding the head of this very son. As in other interrogative instances, δῆτα in 1277 marks the question’s inferential link to a preceding utterance and draws attention to semantic or pragmatic similarities across these utterances. [101] Here Cadmus’ question builds on Agaue’s reference to Pentheus (a semantic similarity) as well as on his own previous questions (an illocutionary similarity). Agaue cannot realize that τίνος in 1277 in fact refers to the same referent as τίς in 1275, but for the audience the repetition of the question word may highlight this irony. Since Agaue cannot understand that Cadmus’ question is related to her own preceding utterance, as the audience can, δῆτα emphasizes the dramatic irony of the passage.
§88. Though it is rare, δῆτα questions may also be used in monologues. Because δῆτα in dialogues signals a reaction to a previous utterance, in monologues the presence of the particle gives the impression that the speaker is conducting a “dialogue with herself.” The following example from Agamemnon is taken from a long speech by Cassandra. She knows that there is no escape, and that she will die very soon. [102]
(t20)
          (Κα.) φυγὰς δ’ ἀλήτης τῆσδε γῆς ἀπόξενος
                   κάτεισιν ἄτας τάσδε θριγκώσων φίλοις.
                   ὀμώμοται γὰρ ὅρκος ἐκ θεῶν μέγας,
1285           ἄξειν νιν ὑπτίασμα κειμένου πατρός.
                   τί δῆτ’ ἐγὼ κάτοικτος ὧδ’ ἀναστένω;
                   ἐπεὶ τὸ πρῶτον εἶδον Ἰλίου πόλιν
                   πράξασαν ὡς ἔπραξεν, οἳ δ’ εἷλον πόλιν
                   οὕτως ἀπαλλάσσουσιν ἐν θεῶν κρίσει,
                   ἰοῦσ’ ἀπάρξω, τλήσομαι τὸ κατθανεῖν.
Aeschylus Agamemnon 1282-1290
(Ca.) (an avenger will come) An exile, a wanderer, banished from this land, he will return to put the coping-stone on these disasters for his family; that the gods have sworn a great oath that his father’s corpse lying helpless will draw him back. So why do I lament and groan aloud like this? Now that I have seen the city of Ilium suffer as it suffered, now that those who captured the city are getting this kind of verdict before the tribunal of the gods, I too shall go and have the courage to face death.
E. Fraenkel 1950 ad loc. remarks: “a sentence beginning with τί δῆτα draws the conclusion from a preceding statement (this need not be by a different person (…)).” The reason for the δῆτα question, he adds, is always to be found in the preceding discourse, never in what follows. In this case, the rhetorical δῆτα question in line 1286 presents a new association prompted by the speaker’s own words. Fraenkel paraphrases Cassandra’s argumentation as, “it is quite certain that my death will be avenged; why then do I lament?” Thus, also in this monologue a δῆτα question looks backward (marking an inference from preceding discourse) and forward (opening up a new topic) at the same time; this construction is however more at home in dialogues. [103]
3.3.1.4 καί
§89. When a character’s utterance starts with καί, the particle usually marks a close connection to a preceding utterance. The new utterance may, for example, continue or mirror the previous speaker’s communicative action, such as a directive following a directive (see (t21) below). καί helps to trigger resonance in such cases: the particle makes it explicit that the speaker is picking up something from the preceding utterance in order to do something with it herself. This interpretation fits with the descriptions of καί in the scholarly literature. Hartung 1832:153 describes the particle as marking a union (“Vereinigung”) between two elements. Similarly, Bäumlein 1861:145 holds that καί introduces a new thought or concept that belongs in the same line of thinking (“unter den gleichen Gesichtspunkt”) as what came before. He adds (146) that καί may mark the second element in a combination as a more specific qualification of the first element (“nähere Bestimmung”). The Homerist Bakker follows these scholars in calling καί a particle of “inclusion” (1997:71) and “integration” (72). When linking two different clauses, Homeric καί marks that the focus on a given idea continues, but that a different aspect of it is highlighted (72).
§90. Consider the following example from Euripides Hippolytus. Phaedra has decided to commit suicide and informs the chorus of this decision.
(t21)
            Χο. μέλλεις δὲ δὴ τί δρᾶν ἀνήκεστον κακόν;
            Φα. θανεῖν· ὅπως δέ, τοῦτ’ ἐγὼ βουλεύσομαι.
            Χο. εὔφημος ἴσθι.
724bis Φα. καὶ σύ γ’ εὖ με νουθέτει.
Euripides Hippolytus 722-724
Ch. What harm past cure do you mean to do?
Ph. To die. But the manner of it—that shall be my devising.
Ch. Say no more shocking words!
Ph. And you, give advice that is good!
The chorus’ request εὔφημος ἴσθι, “say good-omened words,” in fact means “please change your mind and don’t commit suicide.” Phaedra in her response mirrors the utterance’s directive illocutionary force, her νουθέτει picks up on the imperative singular morphology of ἴσθι, and her εὖ echoes the chorus’ εὔφημος. [104] καί at the beginning of Phaedra’s turn highlights the resonance, by explicitly linking the two utterances. [105] However, Phaedra also employs the particle γε, which highlights σύ and thereby points to the new spin she is putting on the echoed material: she implies that the chorus’ utterance was in fact not good advice at all.
§91. Turn-initial καί may also link utterances by signaling a speaker’s intention to deal in more detail with an existing point. [106] In these cases, it is not a communicative goal that is being echoed, but a topic or claim from the preceding utterance. A speaker may for example zoom in on something to ask a detailed question about it, as in (t22), where the chorus asks Clytemnestra how she knows about the recent fall of Troy. Perhaps she had received signs in a dream?
(t22)
275    Κλ. οὐ δόξαν ἂν λάβοιμι βριζούσης φρενός.
          Χο. ἀλλ’ ἦ σ’ ἐπίανέν τις ἄπτερος φάτις;
          Κλ. παιδὸς νέας ὣς κάρτ’ ἐμωμήσω φρένας.
          Χο. ποίου χρόνου δὲ καὶ πεπόρθηται πόλις;
          Κλ. τῆς νῦν τεκούσης φῶς τόδ’ εὐφρόνης λέγω.
280    Χο. καὶ τίς τόδ’ ἐξίκοιτ’ ἂν ἀγγέλων τάχος;
          Κλ. Ἥφαιστος, Ἴδης λαμπρὸν ἐκπέμπων σέλας·
Aeschylus Agamemnon 275-281
Cl. I wouldn’t accept the mere fancy of a slumbering mind.
Ch. Then has some unflegded rumour swelled your head?
Cl. You really disparage my intelligence, as if I were a young child!
Ch. Within what time has the city actually been sacked?
Cl. Within the night, I say, that has just given birth to the present day’s light.
Ch. And what messenger could come here with such speed?
Cl. Hephaestus, sending a bright blaze on its way from Mount Ida.
The turn-initial καί in 280 indicates that the chorus is taking up the substance of Clytemnestra’s utterance (i.e. resonance is triggered) and is delving into it in further detail: if the capture of Troy only took place the night before, the chorus would like to know, then how can the queen already know about it? [107]
§92. In the next passage from Aristophanes Frogs, we see an utterance starting with καί that triggers resonance not with the immediately preceding utterance, but with an earlier turn by the same speaker. The similarities between these utterances would have been striking even without the particle, but καί draws attention to the resemblance more explicitly, by marking the new utterance as linked. Two furious innkeepers are complaining about Heracles’ gluttony. The slave Xanthias throws some oil on the fire, because he would like to see the innkeepers punish his master Dionysus, who is wearing the Heracles costume. [108]
(t23)
           Πα. κἄπειτ’ ἐπειδὴ τἀργύριον ἐπραττόμην,
                  ἔβλεψεν εἴς με δριμὺ κἀμυκᾶτό γε—
           Ξα. τούτου πάνυ τοὔργον· οὗτος ὁ τρόπος πανταχοῦ.
           Πα. καὶ τὸ ξίφος γ’ ἐσπᾶτο, μαίνεσθαι δοκῶν.
565     Πλ. νὴ Δία, τάλαινα.
565bis Πα. νὼ δὲ δεισάσα γέ πως
                  ἐπὶ τὴν κατήλιφ’ εὐθὺς ἀνεπηδήσαμεν·
                  ὁ δ’ ᾤχετ’ ἐξᾴξας γε τὰς ψιάθους λαβών.
           Ξα. καὶ τοῦτο τούτου τοὔργον. (…)
Aristophanes Frogs 561-568
In. And when I presented the bill, he gave me a nasty look and started bellowing.
Xa. That’s his style exactly; he acts that way everywhere.
In. And he drew his sword like a lunatic.
Pl. Amen, my poor dear.
In. And we were so scared I guess we jumped right up to the loft, while he dashed out and got away, taking our mattresses with him.
Xa. That’s his style, too.
Xanthias’ remark in 568 repeats the one in 563, as noted by Van Leeuwen 1896 ad loc. By marking the second utterance with turn-initial καί, Xanthias makes it explicit that his comment is an addition to or a continuation of the comment he is echoing. That Xanthias can make this comment again humorously increases the women’s anger, which makes the situation all the more dangerous for his terrified master. [109]
§93. Because of its general linking function, [110] καί is well-suited to starting off resonating utterances. The particle does not itself trigger resonance, but helps to draw attention to meaningful similarities across utterances. Lexical, phonological, syntactic, and other types of resonance stand out more clearly when the second utterance is marked with καί. Because resonance can be triggered by similarities on different levels, this highlighting may occur both when καί has small scope (“that too,” “even that”) and when it has large scope, linking entire discourse acts (“and who could come?”). That is, the use of resonance does not depend on the particle’s scope.
§94. The linking nature of καί and its affinity with resonance-triggering contexts make it clear that καί functions very differently from δέ, even though both of them are often translated “and.” Turn-initial δέ marks its utterance as a new, separate step in the discourse, rather than as a pursuing of or “zooming in” on the preceding utterance.
3.3.1.5 γάρ
§95. When a speaker uses γάρ at the beginning of a resonating utterance, she indicates that her use of resonance involves an inference on her part. Hancock 1917:27 translates this use of γάρ as “yes, for…,” or “no, for…”. He notes (31) that γάρ marking an ellipsis of a whole phrase is very common in tragic stichomythia. When it comes to the use of γάρ in questions, Denniston 1950:77 notes that it is frequent at the beginning of “surprised and incredulous questions, where the speaker throws doubt on the grounds of the previous speaker’s words. (…) Frequently the second speaker echoes, with contempt, indignation, or surprise, a word or words used by the first.” Vigerus 1834 [1680]:492 also notes that γάρ in questions may signal indignation.
§96. γάρ’s role in resonance contexts, then, is to indicate that a speaker refers to a preceding utterance because she infers a certain (in her view) outrageous implication from that utterance. That is, the logical link between the two utterances signaled by the particle conveys that the speaker is indignant about what was said. The causal use of γάρ also plays a role in its resonance-marking function: it introduces, at the beginning of an utterance, why a speaker does or does not agree with a previous suggestion.
§97. In the following passage from Sophocles Antigone, we can see as many as eight instances of the particle marking a relation across different speakers’ turns. [111] It is an angry dialogue between Creon and his son Haemon, who is trying to convince his father not to kill Antigone. [112]
(t24)
          Αι. μηδέν γ’ ὃ μὴ δίκαιον· εἰ δ’ ἐγὼ νέος,
                οὐ τὸν χρόνον χρὴ μᾶλλον ἢ τἄργα σκοπεῖν.
730    Κρ. ἔργον γάρ ἐστι τοὺς ἀκοσμοῦντας σέβειν;
          Αι. οὐδ’ ἂν κελεύσαιμ’ εὐσεβεῖν ἐς τοὺς κακούς.
          Κρ. οὐχ ἥδε γὰρ τοιᾷδ’ ἐπείληπται νόσῳ;
          Αι. οὔ φησι Θήβης τῆσδ’ ὁμόπτολις λεώς.
          Κρ. πόλις γὰρ ἡμῖν ἁμὲ χρὴ τάσσειν ἐρεῖ;
735    Αι. ὁρᾷς τόδ’ ὡς εἴρηκας ὡς ἄγαν νέος;
          Κρ. ἄλλῳ γὰρ ἢ ’μοὶ χρή με τῆσδ’ ἄρχειν χθονός;
          Αι. πόλις γὰρ οὐκ ἔσθ’ ἥτις ἀνδρός ἐσθ’ ἑνός.
(...)
          Κρ. ὦ παγκάκιστε, διὰ δίκης ἰὼν πατρί;
          Αι. οὐ γὰρ δίκαιά σ’ ἐξαμαρτάνονθ’ ὁρῶ.
          Κρ. ἁμαρτάνω γὰρ τὰς ἐμὰς ἀρχὰς σέβων;
745    Αι. οὐ γὰρ σέβεις, τιμάς γε τὰς θεῶν πατῶν.
Sophocles Antigone 728-737 and 742-745
(Cr. Should young men teach sense to the old?)
Ha. Nothing but what is right! If I am young, one must not consider my age rather than my merits.
Cr. Is it a merit to show regard for those who cause disorder?
Ha. It is not that I would ask you to show regard for evildoers.
Cr. Is not she afflicted with this malady?
Ha. This people of Thebes that shares our city does not say so.
Cr. Is the city to tell me what orders I shall give?
Ha. Do you notice that what you have said is spoken like a very young man?
Cr. Must I rule this land for another and not for myself?
Ha. Yes, there is no city that belongs to a single man!
(...)
Cr. You villain, by disputing against your father?
Ha. Because I see that you are offending against justice!
Cr. Am I offending when I show regard for my own office?
Ha. You show no regard when you trample on the honours due to the gods!
We see γάρ co-occurring with a chain of semantic (and sometimes lexical) echoes, all of which produce resonance. The following overview shows that each resonating element that contains γάρ refers back to a previous utterance by the other speaker.
Table 3: Resonating elements marked with γάρ in lines 728-745






















resonating element resonating with
730 Creon: ἔργον γάρ 729 Haemon: ἔργα
732 Creon: (…) γὰρ τοιᾷδ’ (…) νόσῳ 730 Haemon: τοὺς κακούς
734 Creon: πόλις γὰρ 733 Haemon: Θήβης τῆσδ’ ὁμόπτολις λεώς
736 Creon: (…) γὰρ (…) τῆσδ’ ἄρχειν χθονός 733 Haemon: Θήβης τῆσδ’ [113]
737 Haemon: πόλις γὰρ 736 Creon: τῆσδ’ (...) χθονός
743 Haemon: οὐ γὰρ δίκαιά 742 Creon: διὰ δίκης ἰὼν
744 Creon: ἁμαρτάνω γὰρ 743 Haemon: σ’ ἐξαμαρτάνονθ’ ὁρῶ
745 Haemon: οὐ γὰρ σέβεις 744 Creon: σέβων
γάρ in this series of resonance signals that the speaker is making an inference in regards to the element he picks up from the earlier utterance. The use of γάρ, in other words, suggests that the speaker has a specific reason to echo his addressee. The preceding utterance is thus marked as a logical starting point for the current utterance. [114] In English we can render this specific resonance signal with phrases such as “so are you saying that…?” (in questions) and as “yes, for…” or “no, for…” (in answers).
§98. Kamerbeek 1978 and Griffith 1999 ad loc. note that γάρ in this context implies indignation. [115] Indeed the lexical echoes in this passage create an emotional impression of the speakers. This expression of emotions is not, however, a function of the particle by itself. [116] Rather, indignation follows pragmatically from what a speaker is doing with a γάρ echo. One speaker may say something with an implication that infuriates the other one. This second speaker can express her indignation by repeating the relevant element and indicating her inference based on that. In questions, such use of resonance leads to an indignant implication along the lines of, for example: “…merits.”—“What?! Merits?! Are you saying that it’s a merit to…”. In responses, an angry speaker may suggest her superiority by implying that this inference is the only right response to the question just asked. [117]

3.3.2 Particles triggering resonance themselves

§99. In (t24), there are so many instances of resonance-marking γάρ that we can say that the particle in itself triggers resonance. The audience will have noticed the exceptional frequency of γάρ in this dialogue (as does e.g. Hancock 1917:28). That is, attention is drawn to the particle’s own recurrence across utterances. Pickering does not take echoes of particles into account in his studies on repetition in tragedy (see §19 above). As these words are frequent throughout the texts, he generally does not consider their repetition meaningful. However, it is reasonable to take so many occurrences of the same particle within so few lines as a trigger of resonance. This occurs especially in Aristophanes.
§100. The resonance of γάρ in the Antigone passage may underline the speakers’ angry mood, since this construction usually implies indignation. A similarly high density of an individual particle is found in the following passage from Euripides Andromache: [118]
(t25)
          Ορ. μῶν ἐς γυναῖκ’ ἔρραψας οἷα δὴ γυνή;
          Ερ. φόνον γ’ ἐκείνηι καὶ τέκνωι νοθαγενεῖ.
          Ορ. κἄκτεινας, ἤ τις συμφορά σ’ ἀφείλετο;
          Ερ. γέρων γε Πηλεύς, τοὺς κακίονας σέβων.
915    Ορ. σοὶ δ’ ἦν τις ὅστις τοῦδ’ ἐκοινώνει φόνου;
          Ερ. πατήρ γ’ ἐπ’ αὐτὸ τοῦτ’ ἀπὸ Σπάρτης μολών.
          Ορ. κἄπειτα τοῦ γέροντος ἡσσήθη χερί;
          Ερ. αἰδοῖ γε· καί μ’ ἔρημον οἴχεται λιπών.
Euripides Andromache 911-918
Or. Did you perchance plot against her like a woman?
He. Yes, death for her and for her bastard son.
Or. Did you kill them, or did some mischance prevent you?
He. Old Peleus stopped me, favoring the lowly.
Or. But was there one who shared this murder with you?
He. My father, come from Sparta for this purpose.
Or. Yet he was bested by an old man’s hand?
He. Yes, by his sense of shame—and then he left me!
Hermione underlines all of her four answers in this dialogue with γε at the start. In this way she presents all the highlighted elements as extremely relevant to her in her current state of anxiety and despair. The resonance triggered by the γε repetition across her turns helps to characterize her as being agitated. [119] The individual instances of γε in this excerpt are not related to resonance-marking, however, but rather demonstrate the particle’s affinity for answers. [120]
§101. In the following example from Aristophanes Lysistrata, the relevant particle (τοιγάρ) appears only twice, but because it is used very infrequently in comedy, this single repetition is unusual enough to trigger resonance. In the scene in question, the Athenian Cinesias tries to convince his wife Myrrhine, who is participating in Lysistrata’s sex strike, to come home.
(t26)
           (Κι.) οὐ βαδιεῖ πάλιν;
900      Μυ. μὰ Δί’ οὐκ ἔγωγ’, ἢν μὴ διαλλαχθῆτέ γε
                   καὶ τοῦ πολέμου παύσησθε.
901bis   Κι.  τοιγάρ, ἢν δοκῇ,
                   ποιήσομεν καὶ ταῦτα.
902bis   Μυ. τοιγάρ, ἢν δοκῇ,
                   κἄγωγ’ ἄπειμ’ ἐκεῖσε· νῦν δ’ ἀπομώμοκα.
Aristophanes Lysistrata 899-903
(Ci.) Won’t you come home?
My. I certainly will not, not until you men agree to a settlement and stop the war.
Ci. All right, if that’s what’s decided, then that’s what we'll do.
My. All right, if that’s what’s decided, then I’ll be coming home. But meanwhile I’ve sworn to stay here.
τοιγάρ, [121] uttered in 901 by Cinesias and in 902 by Myrrhine, occurs only three times in Aristophanes, all in this play. Therefore, as Denniston 1950:565 notes, we may consider its use by Cinesias “pompous,” which is then “mockingly” picked up by Myrrhine in her reply. Of course, in this case the whole clause τοιγάρ ἢν δοκῇ is repeated, not just the particle τοιγάρ; yet it is clear that the particle is not excluded from such mocking echoes.
§102. Besides being part of a larger repeated expression, particles may also participate in resonance by sounding like other words. We have seen an example of that in (t7) from Aeschylus Persians, where καί resonates with the αι-sound in the lament by Xerxes and the chorus. Similarly, τε in Libation Bearers 381 can be seen as part of the large number of words resonating with πάτερ, listed in Table 1 above.

3.4 Conclusions

§103. This chapter has argued that resonance is an important communicative strategy in Greek drama, and that the study of resonance is useful for our understanding of particles. Past observations on the use of repetition in tragedy and comedy have laid the groundwork for examining how resonance works in these texts. By examining relevant passages through the lens of this concept, the different functions of resonance were identified more clearly, as well as the different forms it takes. Employing the concept of resonance as a research tool for investigating other genres will likewise be useful. It is in the first place illuminating for texts that represent utterances by several speakers; in less dialogic texts, criteria will be needed to determine when a new segment is sufficiently different from the preceding discourse to be compared to what would be a new turn in a dialogue.
§104. With regard to the functions of resonance, one can distinguish between goals of the speaking character, and goals of the playwright. The fact that both of these levels are continually present is an important difference between the communication found in literary drama and daily conversation. Speaking characters may pick up elements from previous utterances in order to emphasize their solidarity with the other speaker and his actions. Or, in other contexts, they highlight similarities across turns precisely to stress differences between what they want to say and what was said before. Playwrights may highlight linguistic echoes in order to stress a play’s theme, to depict characters’ personalities or characterize their interactions, or to make jokes or parody.
§105. Resonance is triggered by similarities on several linguistic levels. Examples have been given of lexical, phonological, syntactic, morphological, semantic, pragmatic, and illocutionary resonance triggers. Usually similarities work on several levels at the same time, regardless of the function of the resonance.
§106. Focusing on the use of resonance has thrown light on the use of particles and particle combinations. They play a role in this process in two different ways. First, they indicate the way in which a speaker is using resonance. The focus here has been on γε, δέ γε/δέ… γε, δῆτα, καί, and γάρ; other particles have similar uses as well. It is, however, important to keep in mind that marking a certain use of resonance is in no way the only function of a particle, not even in its turn-initial position. Not every utterance triggers resonance, and resonance is certainly not a prerequisite for the use of particles. Second, particles sometimes trigger resonance themselves, when they are repeated often enough to draw attention to their own recurrence. Whether or not a particle (combination) may trigger resonance or not depends on its usual frequency: for a highly infrequent particle two occurrences in quick succession may already be striking (see (t26) with discussion).
§107. There is no need to postulate new general functions for particles in order to describe what they do in resonance contexts; rather, resonance deepens what we already know about the functions that different particles serve. For example, the particle handbooks describe γε as indicating that a specific element from a previous statement is being singled out, or γάρ as signaling a causal relation. If we combine this general knowledge about a particle’s function with the observation that a speaker consciously picks something up from a previous turn of speaking, we see the two strategies interacting: we then understand why the speaker singles a certain element out, or why she indicates a causal relation in a certain context. That is, she wants to engage with a previous piece of discourse in a specific way, in order to achieve a certain pragmatic goal. These specific resonance-marking functions of γε, γάρ, and καί can only work in a dialogic context of speakers interacting with each other. Similarly, the interpretation of the particle combination δέ γε/δέ… γε is different in resonating turns of speaking (juxtaposing a hostile new step) than in ones that do not resonate with the directly preceding utterance (adding a new step to the speaker’s own previous words). As for δῆτα, the particle handbooks claim that in assertions it signals agreement; the very word “agreement” implies dialogicality, since a speaker can only agree with someone or something else.
§108. Thus, the Du Boisian concept of resonance enables us to understand better why a certain function for a given particle works well in a certain context, and how this function interacts with the highlighting of similarities across utterances. The dialogic interaction becomes clearer. In this way we can better understand that particle use should be considered a communicative strategy, one that interacts with the communicative strategy known as resonance.

Footnotes

[ back ] 1. I use the term “utterance” in a neutral way, for pieces of discourse continuously “uttered” in any medium. If a change of speaker occurs, I consider this the end of an utterance: see III.4 §9.
[ back ] 2. Du Bois’ seminal work on dialogic syntax has been in circulation for several years before publication in 2014. The scholar has presented these ideas on various conferences since 1998, and the paper has been distributed since 2001.
[ back ] 3. See also II.4 on discourse memory, especially §§4-10.
[ back ] 4. Pickering 1999:34, discussing lexical repetitions in tragedy, adds a similar warning. He points out that not all repetitions can or should be considered intentional and meaningful; yet at the same time, he argues strongly against the view that all are unconscious and “careless.”
[ back ] 5. See §§29-32 below on resonance used by playwrights (rather than by characters).
[ back ] 6. See also Du Bois 2014:365 for an overview of resonance studies.
[ back ] 7. Du Bois has presented his ideas on stancetaking at several conferences before publishing them in 2007, which is why Haddington can already refer to them in 2004.
[ back ] 8. On stancetaking, see IV.4.4.
[ back ] 9. Nuolijärvi and Tiittula build on Wilson and Sperber’s 1992 view on irony. On stance and irony in Herodotus and Thucydides, see IV.4.4.6; on δή connected to this, see IV.4 §§104-108 on Herodotus, and §§123-126 on Thucydides.
[ back ] 10. Despite the length of her book, Oropeza-Escobar does not seem to add much theoretical insight to the ideas expressed by, especially, Du Bois 2010 [2001] and Linell 1998, both of whom she frequently cites.
[ back ] 11. Takanashi seems to gloss over the fact that several other types of resonance, such as prosodic and syntactic ones, are occurring at the same time. Beside that, Du Bois already mentions the possibility of pragmatic resonance as well.
[ back ] 12. Hancock incidentally notes (53-57) that the same repetition across utterances is also present in the Platonic dialogues, where it takes its own set of forms and functions.
[ back ] 13. Pickering 1999 is Peter E. Pickering’s dissertation on repetition in tragedy. In an article labeled 2000a, he discusses repetitions and their removal by the copyists of tragedy. The publication called 2000b focuses on repetition in Prometheus. Pickering and Pickering 2002 is a conference paper of Peter Pickering and his son Martin Pickering, who is a cognitive linguist. Furthermore, in an article published in 2003, Peter Pickering discusses so-called “careless” repetition in Greek. Pickering’s work is referred to by Schuren 2015:15, 132 on Euripidean stichomythia; this author adds in her interpretations of specific passages that lexical repetition may reflect impatience (32) or sarcasm (173), and that a story may be repeated in different forms across a tragedy, with several effects (216-217).
[ back ] 14. Pickering confines his analyses to “lexical words.” That is, particles, conjunctions, prepositions, the definite article, forms of “to be” etc. have been excluded. Repetitions of “non-lexical words” are considered by Pickering to be usually irrelevant.
[ back ] 15. This naturalness of repetition is again stressed in Pickering 2000a:135.
[ back ] 16. On the use of -μα nouns in tragedy, see Barrett 2007.
[ back ] 17. See II.2 §38 on metrical resonance and its possible effects in Pindar.
[ back ] 18. “Illocutionary force” refers to the intended function of an utterance in communication, such as assertive, interrogative, or directive. It is a term from speech-act theory, originally developed by Austin 1962 and Searle 1969.
[ back ] 19. Sommerstein 2008 reads and translates the conjecture γε instead of τε in this line.
[ back ] 20. The symbols { } mark that the position of an element has been changed, in order to make the resonance clearer. See Du Bois 2014:374n5.
[ back ] 21. Rutherford 2012:170 notes that Electra’s role is in fact subordinate to that of Orestes throughout the play.
[ back ] 22. See IV.4 §§45-84 (section 4.4) on the application of Du Bois’ notion of stance to historiography, with §§47-49 and §§61-63 on alignment and disalignment in particular. On alignment, see also Pickering and Garrod 2006.
[ back ] 23. See the kommos at Sophocles Ajax 330-427, where we also find several doublings of words.
[ back ] 24. On the meaning and function of αἰαῖ, see Nordgren 2012:136-139, 220; 2015.
[ back ] 25. See II.5 §61 with note 154 for an example of phonological as well as lexical and thematic resonance between two passages in Homer; these resemblances invite a similar interpretation of both passages.
[ back ] 26. This translation by Sommerstein 2008b is slightly adapted to fit the order of lines as given in the TLG text by Page 1972.
[ back ] 27. On the use of γε in lines 1369 and 1373, and the use of δῆτα in 1373, see below, §79 and §84; on ἀλλά in line 1366, see Drummen 2009:148.
[ back ] 28. As Page 1938 ad loc. puts it, εἰσίν in 1371 “replies to” οὐκ εἰσί in 1370.
[ back ] 29. Further examples of resonance stressing differences include Sophocles Oedipus King 547-552 (Oedipus accuses his brother-in-law Creon of a conspiracy, picking up words and constructions from the latter’s utterances); 1018-1019 (ἴσος has different implications in the two utterances); Euripides Hippolytus 1456-1457 (Theseus uses the same word to ask Hippolytus to stay alive as Hippolytus uses to describe his death). See also Sophocles Ajax 485-524 for a more general instance of resonance stressing differences, with the discussion by Hesk 2003:66. He draws attention to the allusions to Ajax’ preceding speech in Tecmessa’s monologue. She underlines, Hesk writes, “the appropriate nature of her rebuttal by imitating the form of Ajax’s discourse (maxims, polyptota) at the same time as she alters the content” (italics in original). He argues that Sophocles often uses such repetitions “to emphasise meaning and/or lend emotional force to their words.”
[ back ] 30. Henderson reads Hermann’s conjecture αὖ instead of the second ἄν.
[ back ] 31. Tucker 1906 and Stanford 1958 also note the similarity between Dionysus’ and Xanthias’ utterances. Stanford comments on the sarcastic nature of Xanthias’ references.
[ back ] 32. The word Ἁλκμήνης is however in the same metrical position twice.
[ back ] 33. See Hancock 1917:29, who notes that καὶ πῶς often introduces an incredulous question in tragic dialogues, and Garvie 1986 ad the καὶ πῶς-question in Aeschylus Libation Bearers 179: “It is equivalent to a statement of impossibility.”
[ back ] 34. See the discussion of καί and resonance below, §§89-94.
[ back ] 35. See Drummen 2013, with further literature.
[ back ] 36. Such questions occur seven times in Aristophanes, excluding fragments: Birds 829, 1437; Clouds 1333; Frogs 582; Knights 773; Lysistrata 912; Peace 1076a. Of these, Knights 773 is exceptional, because it is not addressed to the previous speaker, but to a third person present. Therefore, this question still implies impossibility of the event suggested, but there is no sense of indignation. The other cases do convey an indignant or rejecting tone. See Van Leeuwen 1898 ad Clouds 1333 and Dunbar 1995 ad Birds 829.
Note, furthermore, that a πῶς question with a potential optative functioning as an indirect wish (see Drummen 2013:85-89, 104-105) is never preceded by καί. A wish typically stands on its own and is addressed to a deity or the world in general, rather than to an interlocutor in the dialogue at hand.
[ back ] 37. The repetition of οἶδα itself in 580 is explained by Stanford 1958 ad loc. as emphatic. In this case, this explanation works well, as Xanthias can be understood as angry or indignant. In Dionysus’ utterance at 584, however, the repetition seems rather to serve the triggering of resonance with 580; extra emphasis would be less appropriate to Dionysus’ flattering pragmatic goal.
On first-person verbs in expressions of the speaker’s stance in historiography, see IV.4 §55 and §66.
[ back ] 38. In both cases the two ἄν instances syntactically belong to the main-clause verb.
[ back ] 39. The second ἄν in 581 has been emended to αὖ by Hermann. I follow Wilson’s text, and as is clear from the discussion in the main text, I think a repeated ἄν works very well in this context.
[ back ] 40. A potential optative can express a strong refusal when combined with a first person aorist verb denoting a controllable action. In this case, γίγνομαι refers to a controllable action, because it implies “putting on a costume,” rather than simply “become” (which is usually uncontrollable). See Drummen 2013 for the different uses of the potential optative, including discussion of the instance in 581 (p. 101).
[ back ] 41. See Drummen 2013:99-102. On the pragmatic meaning of ἄν repetitions, see Goldstein 2012.
[ back ] 42. On character’s voice in other genres, see II.3 §28 on Homer, §65 on Pindar; IV.4.2-3 on Herodotus and Thucydides (also on the authors’ voices).
[ back ] 43. See II.4 §40 on lexical and semantic resonance in Homer as a structuring device used by the narrator, and the role of ἄρα in such resonating contexts.
[ back ] 44. In lines 306-510, eight of the occurrences of πάτερ are uttered by Orestes, and four by Electra. The chorus can of course not address Agamemnon as “father.” Sier 1988:84 observes that they even do not address him at all: they refer to him only in the third person. That Orestes uses this vocative more often than his sister might contribute to his authoritative status during the prayer, alongside Electra picking up his words and constructions (see §35 above). This effect of characterizing the relationship between speakers is actually another function of resonance, which is discussed below, §§57-62.
[ back ] 45. Lines 403-404 display even more phonological similarities: παρὰ τῶν πρότερον φθιμένων ἄτην /ἑτέραν ἐπάγουσαν ἐπ’ ἄτηι.
[ back ] 46. Sophocles Electra 1298: ἀλλ’ ὡς ἐπ’ ἄτῃ τῇ μάτην λελεγμένῃ.
[ back ] 47. Similar phonological similarities functioning as a trigger for resonance may be that of the name Ξέρξης in Aeschylus Persians. The recurrence of a similar sound subtly underlines Xerxes’ decisive role in the terrible events, or help to evoke the disastrous situation connected to this character in the audience’s minds.
Besides seventeen occurrences (with different endings) of the name itself, there are in the edition by Page 1972 at least eight other words that clearly resemble Ξέρξης in sound. They are, however, distributed over the whole play more widely than the resonating elements in the kommos prayer scene in Libation Bearers.
Words starting with ἠρξ- or ἐρξ- are infrequent in Aeschylus: there are seventeen instances in total, when fragments and Prometheus bound are included. Of these, six occur in Persians, the highest number for a single play: 236 ἔρξας by the chorus, 353 ἦρξεν by the messenger, 409 ἦρξε by the messenger, 774 ἦρξεν by the ghost of Darius, 786 ἔρξαντες by the ghost of Darius, and 1058 ἔρξω by the chorus. A similar form is 351 κατῆρξαν by queen Atossa. Furthermore, the participle ῥήξας in 468 by the messenger, with Xerxes as subject, is one out of two words starting with ῥηξ- in all of Aeschylus (the other is ῥῆξιν in the very short fragment 313a). This ῥήξας in 468 at the same time activates a lexical and semantic resonance with ῥήγνυσιν in line 199 by the queen, where it is accompanied by an explicit mentioning of the name Ξέρξης. (Words with ξε- do not seem relevant for this resonance, because they are much more frequent: these mainly involve forms or derivations of ξένος.) Note that none of these possibly resonating words is uttered by Xerxes himself.
The similarity between 199 and 468 is noted by Broadhead 1960, Hall 1996, and Roussel 1960 ad loc. The latter commentator also refers to the parallel occurrences of ἔρξας, ἦρξεν, and ῥήξας within the play, but does not discuss a possible sound similarity among these forms, or between them and Ξέρξης. Groeneboom 1930 remarks, ad 1058 ἔρξω, that this is a future form because the chorus has not yet started the action; no acoustic explanation is suggested.
Another resonance in Persians might be triggered by πᾶς κατέφθαρται στρατός (”the entire army has been destroyed”) and lexically or semantically similar expressions. These occur several times throughout the play (e.g. 244, 251, 278-279, 345, 716, 728, 729). Note that none of them is uttered by Xerxes.
[ back ] 48. “Oedipe est lui-même, sans le savoir, l’auteur du discours que Tirésias lui tient, sans le vouloir.” Bollack does not comment, though, on this possible resonance throughout the passage; neither do Dawe 2006 [1982], Van Herwerden 1866, Jebb 1887 [1883], Kamerbeek 1967, Markantonatos 1986, and Ritter 1870.
[ back ] 49. Pfeiffer-Petersen 1996:68 draws attention to a similar repetition of the theme of “saying” in another Sophoclean tragedy: Antigone 1048-1063. Teiresias is involved (speaking to Creon, the king of Thebes) in that dialogue as well. The seer’s involvement in dialogues emphasizing the theme of “saying” in two different plays highlights the sense that his words have special value.
[ back ] 50. Similarly, as Kamerbeek 1967 ad 1012 points out, φυτευσάντων refers back to φυτεύσασιν in line 1007.
[ back ] 51. See II.5 on different ways to retrieve referents in Homer and Pindar.
[ back ] 52. Metrical resonance may in this case strengthen the lexical and referential resonance: Πόλυβος is in the same metrical position in both lines, with five syllables preceding and five following. This may however be irrelevant, as seven instances of the name (in any inflected form) are in this position, out of its nine occurrences (or ten, depending on the edition) in the iambic trimeters of the play. This is not surprising, since the second metron is the most usual place for the resolution which Πόλυβος requires.
[ back ] 53. On linguistic and stylistic characterization in tragedy, see e.g. Katsures 1975.
[ back ] 54. In Drummen 2013:94, I draw attention to Creon’s frequent use of “mitigating” potential optatives, which can be seen as part of this rhetorical strategy.
[ back ] 55. However, Garvie also notes that in line 493, Orestes does develop what Electra has just said.
[ back ] 56. The other one, Oedipus’ question in 116-117, is a yes/no-interrogative.
[ back ] 57. The repetition of πῶς alone already triggers this kind of resonance, because Oedipus utters eleven of the twenty instances of this word in Oedipus King. In Sophocles’ plays Ajax, Antigone, and Women of Trachis, πῶς is less frequent (ten, five, and thirteen occurrences, respectively), and less typical of one specific character. However, also in Electra (22 cases), Oedipus at Colonus (21 cases), and Philoctetes (30 cases), we find a higher frequency of πῶς, and one character uttering most of the instances (Electra, Oedipus, and Philoctetes). Analysis of the other questions or question words uttered by these characters may clarify how such resonance contributes to the depiction of their personalities.
[ back ] 58. The utterance in 540 does not contain an imperative form, but I think we can reasonably interpret it as having directive illocutionary force. By uttering τί δῆτα μέλλει μὴ οὐ παρουσίαν ἔχειν;, Ajax mainly wants to get Tecmessa to fix this problem, not to answer his question.
[ back ] 59. Note further that Ajax uses more verbs in the second person in this dialogue, and Tecmessa more first-person verbs. Out of Ajax’s thirteen finite verbs, two are first person, seven are second person, and three are third person. Of Tecmessa’s ten finite verbs, she utters four first-person forms, two second-person ones, and four third-person ones. This perhaps strengthens the characterization of Ajax as the dominant figure, and Tecmessa as the social inferior, in this dialogue. Pennebaker 2011 points out for the English language that insecure people tend to use more first-person singular pronouns than self-confident speakers and writers. As Greek is a pro-drop language (i.e. finite verbs do not require an explicit subject), personal pronouns are much less frequent than in English. It would nevertheless be interesting to see if we could find similar patterns in other Greek dialogues.
[ back ] 60. On the concept of move, see II.3, especially §§2-11, and IV.3.11.
[ back ] 61. After this defeat, the magistrate tries again: he sends against the women a group of Scythians, who are similarly defeated. This is however a new attack, not part of the policemen sequence anymore. For other kinds of pragmatic jokes in Aristophanes, see Kloss 2001. These forms of humor, Kloss points out (32), are on the borderline between the verbal and situational.
[ back ] 62. Van Leeuwen 1903 ad 435-448 calls attention to a similar threat by one of the women in line 365 (with the condition and the consequence expressed in separate utterances). However, there the man is not frightened at all by the woman’s threat.
[ back ] 63. On ἄρα in drama, see e.g. Hermann 1825: xv-xxviii; Ellendt 1872 [1835]:85-87; Klotz 1842:160-195; Heller 1858; Fritsch 1859; Bäumlein 1861:21-39. On ἄρα in Homer and Pindar, see II.3 §§65-67; II.4 §§38-41, §§50-53; II.5 §§51-62; in Herodotus and Thucydides, see IV.4 §§184-186.
[ back ] 64. On τοι in drama, see III.4 §§58-61, with references. On τοι in Herodotus, see IV.4 §82, §86; IV.5 §§75-76, §80, §84, §86, §93.
[ back ] 65. See above, §20, on Collins’ work.
[ back ] 66. On such connections across stichomythic utterances with participles, see also Ritter 1870 ad Sophocles Oedipus King 1015, where he notes “die durch Participien aus einem Verse in den nächsten übergeleitete Structur.”
[ back ] 67. See Collins 2004:36, 42; Stanford 1958:173-187; Tucker 1906:232-233, 238.
[ back ] 68. On the function and use of ἀτάρ in tragedy and comedy, see III.4 §§39-40.
[ back ] 69. Sophocles Antigone was probably first performed around 441, Aristophanes Lysistrata in 411. See Griffith 1999:1-2 and Henderson 1987:xv.
[ back ] 70. See II.5 §§33-34 for a similar analysis of γε, combined with the pronoun ὁ, in Homer: the cluster ὅ γε is interpreted as referring to an accessible referent, thus establishing a link to previous discourse, but in a somehow new form, thus adding a new twist.
[ back ] 71. On γε in drama, see also III.2 §§58-61; III.4 §§62-64; and III.5 §§45-47 and §§51-63.
[ back ] 72. On subjectivity and intersubjectivity, see e.g. Traugott and Dasher 2002:19-23. On the connection between intersubjectivity and stance, see IV.4 §§51-52. On γε as a marker of voice and subjectivity in authorial statements in Herodotus and Thucydides, see IV.4 §§40-44.
[ back ] 73. According to Hartung 1832:348-349, γε implies that one element is more important or relevant than the rest. By singling out this one element, γε puts emphasis on it (Bäumlein 1861:54). Additionally, Hartung 1832:371, Kühner 1835:398, and Stephens 1837:92 point out that the element set in contrast to the one accompanied by γε is often left implicit.
[ back ] 74. Werres 1936:36 on γε in combination with swearing expressions such as νὴ Δία also notes that γε often occurs in utterances that grammatically depend on a previous utterance.
[ back ] 75. The Greek text edited by Wilson 2007 attributes the lines differently from Henderson’s 2000 translation. This is irrelevant for the interpretation of γε.
[ back ] 76. A discourse act is a short communicative step, expressed in language, with a certain pragmatic goal; it may but does not need to coincide with a syntactic clause. The concept of discourse act is employed throughout this monograph; for elaborate discussion, see II.2, especially §§3-23, and IV.3 §§70-91.
[ back ] 77. See also Van Leeuwen 1903 (“‘pro rata certe parte!’ exclamat”) and Wilamowitz 1927 (“Kleonike protestiert”) ad loc.
[ back ] 78. Other examples of γε marking this kind of resonance include Sophocles Ajax 78, 1132; Oedipus King 365 (cited in (t10) and Table 2), 570; Euripides Bacchae 499, 970; Helen 1633; Medea 1397bis, 1398bis; Aristophanes Birds 1680; Frogs 1045bis; Knights 1100, 1151bis; Lysistrata 238bis, 441 (cited in (t13) and Figure 6), 530; Wealth 155. See Lucci 2011 for discussion of γε in Sophocles Ajax 78 (ἐχθρός γε τῷδε τἀνδρι καὶ τανῦν ἔτι). Odysseus here picks up the word ἀνήρ from the preceding utterance by Athena. As Lucci points out, Odysseus alters the meaning of the word: “ἀνὴρ now refers to Odysseus himself, not Ajax, and so Athena’s emphasis on mortality is lost. Instead Odysseus introduces a new word, ἐχθρός, which is both stressed and placed in implicit opposition to Athena’s statement by the particle γε. Odysseus is unconcerned with Ajax’s status as a human being per se; the problem is that Ajax is a human being who has been and still is hostile to Odysseus.” Incidentally, Pickering 1999:180 notes that ἀνήρ is the word most frequently repeated in Sophocles Ajax (47 times).
[ back ] 79. See IV.5 §73 for an example of γε in a very similar context in Herodotus.
[ back ] 80. That is, I agree with Denniston 1950:152 that the meaning of the combination does not depend on δέ and γε being directly next to each other.
[ back ] 81. In e.g. Euripides Iphigeneia at Aulis 1134 (σὺ δ’, ἤν γ’ ἐρωτᾶις εἰκότ’, εἰκότ’ ἂν κλύοις), we find δέ and γε close to each other at the start of an utterance, but the presence of ἤν before γε makes it clear that there is an act boundary directly after δέ. The two particles are therefore not in the same discourse act in this case. See IV.3 §57, §110 on subordinating conjunctions as one of the signs for act boundaries.
[ back ] 82. See Hesk 2007.
[ back ] 83. Denniston notes that δέ γε/δέ… γε may also be used to pick up the thread of the speaker’s own previous words (1950 [1934]:154). This latter interpretation is appropriate, I find, when the host utterance does not resonate with the directly preceding utterance, but the speaker instead adds a new step to her own previous utterance. Examples include Aristophanes’ Assemblywomen 279ter; Birds 514; Clouds 169, 175, 681; Frogs 914bis; Wasps 605, 776bis.
[ back ] 84. The tense change (εἶδον, 1142 vs. ὄπωπα, 1150) further highlights Teucer’s new spin on the echo. On tense and tense change in connection with particles, see II.4 §§15-28 on γάρ in Homer and Pindar, and IV.4 on Herodotus and Thucydides: §107 and §114 on δή; §149, §151, §153 and §160 on ἤδη; §169 on ἄρα.
[ back ] 85. See III.4 §§34-38 for discussion of turn-initial δέ in drama.
[ back ] 86. Other δέ γε/δέ… γε utterances with this function are e.g. Aeschylus Seven against Thebes 1026; Sophocles Ajax 1150; Philoctetes 1293; Euripides Cyclops 708; Iphigeneia in Tauris 749; Aristophanes Acharnians 623, 1216; Assemblywomen 261, 1010; Birds 1042, 1053; Frogs 236, 253, 570, 575a, 1395; Knights 356, 363, 364, 365, 432, 744, 906, 967, 1105, 1154, 1156, 1171, 1178, 1191; Lysistrata 104, 105, 115, 374, 1158; Wasps 1230bis; Wealth 296, 770, 1090, 1091.
[ back ] 87. See Kock 1876 (“gegenseitige Sticheleien”); Zanetto 1987 in Zanetto and Del Corno (as at symposia, the victim of a joke responds with his own fantastic and ridiculous comparison); Dunbar 1995 (“sequence of fantastic comparison and counter-comparison”) ad loc.
[ back ] 88. Other δέ γε/δέ… γε utterances with this function include Aeschylus Suppliant Women 1056; Sophocles Oedipus King 372; Fragment 187.2; Aristophanes Birds 845bis, 1044, 1053; Clouds 915bis, 920bis, 1277; Knights 444.
[ back ] 89. Other δέ γε/δέ… γε utterances with this function include Aeschylus Agamemnon 939, 941; Euripides Andromache 584; Bacchae 490; Children of Heracles 109; Ion 368, 1256, 1330; Iphigeneia in Aulis 21, 334; Aristophanes Clouds 914; Frogs 1395. The three sub-functions of the construction can overlap, as in the Ajax passage cited in (t16), where the resonating utterance refers to both the first and, indirectly, the second person.
[ back ] 90. See III.2 §58 and §§62-63 for the distribution of δῆτα over the different parts of the plays, with discussion.
[ back ] 91. Page 1938 ad loc. remarks that γε and δῆτα are often used when a speaker echoes a word from another speaker, but does not discuss their functions.
[ back ] 92. Examples of δῆτα in resonating assertions include Aeschylus Persians 1072; Prometheus Bound 770; Seven against Thebes 879, 888, 932, 982; Suppliant Women 207, 216, 359; Sophocles Electra 845, 1198, 1455; Philoctetes 419; Women of Trachis 1127; Oedipus at Colonus 536; Aristophanes Birds 269, 275, 1548; Frogs 28, 914, 1089; Lysistrata 524, 836, 848, 882, 930, 972.
[ back ] 93. See e.g. Hartung 1832:306, who translates οὐ δῆτα as “ganz und gar nicht.”
[ back ] 94. An example from tragedy is found in Sophocles Antigone 762: Κρ. (...) /ἄγετε τὸ μῖσος ὡς κατ’ ὄμματ’ αὐτίκα /παρόντι θνῄσκῃ πλησία τῷ νυμφίῳ /Αι. οὐ δῆτ’ ἔμοιγε τοῦτο μὴ δόξῃς ποτέ. “Cr. Bring the hateful creature, so that she may die at once close at hand, in the sight of her bridegroom. Ha. She shall not die close to me, never imagine it (...)!” An example from Aristophanes is found in Birds 1670: Πε. (…) ἤδη σ’ ὁ πατὴρ εἰσήγαγ’ εἰς τοὺς φράτερας /Ηρ. οὐ δῆτ’ ἐμέ γε καὶ τοῦτ’ ἐθαύμαζον πάλαι. “Pe. Tell me, has your father inducted you into his phratry yet? He. Not me he hasn’t, and that’s always made me wonder.”
[ back ] 95. So Hartung 1832:308, Kühner 1835:390, and Stanford 1958 ad Aristophanes Frogs 11. Other examples of δῆτα in resonating directives include Euripides Electra 673, 676; Hercules 900; Trojan Women 1231; Aristophanes Lysistrata 96, 1245. On δῆτα being linked to emotional agitation, see III.5 §§49-50.
[ back ] 96. See Denniston 1950 [1934]:269-70: δῆτα in questions has “a logical connective force.” The particle indicates “that the question springs out of something which another person (or, more rarely, the speaker himself) has just said.” Wiesner 1999:356 similarly notes that δῆτα carries a logical function, as δῆτα questions arise from the preceding context. Also Goldhill 2012 on Sophocles notes that δῆτα “normally has a consequential force with questions” (43).
[ back ] 97. Examples of such δῆτα questions include Aeschylus Agamemnon 1211, 1286 (see (t20) below); Libation Bearers 218, 916; Eumenides 206; Suppliant Women 302; Sophocles Ajax 42, 109, 518, 537, 1360; Antigone 449, 1099; Electra 1037; Oedipus King 364, 558, 577, 622, 651, 765, 1014; Oedipus at Colonus 52, 258, 643, 1018, 1308 (see note 103 below); Philoctetes 54, 757, 1352, 1393; Women of Trachis 73, 76, 342, 400, 410, 1219, 1245; Euripides Alcestis 39, 380, 530, 689, 822, 960; Bacchae 1277 (see (t19) below), 1351; Medea 1056; Aristophanes Birds 201, 817, 911, 969, 1025, 1147, 1152, 1217, 1585, 1671, 1689; Frogs 12, 194, 200, 296, 635, 654, 768, 784; Lysistrata 54, 181, 399, 753, 912, 914, 1103, 1159.
This description of δῆτα in questions resembles that of German modal particles by Diewald 1999: she points out that particles such as “denn” produce a backward connection to the pragmatic context (194), whereas questions are always initiating conversational steps (192). It would be interesting to compare the use of δῆτα to that of other particles in questions. See III.2 for observations on the distribution of several such particles in drama, and III.4 §§43-45 for discussion of a particular οὖν construction in questions in drama.
[ back ] 98. See Hartung 1832:306-307 (δῆτα in questions either indicates a strong increase, or the impatience of the speaker, who immediately wants an answer); Bäumlein 1861:108 (δῆτα may give emphasis to a question word); Hancock 1917:30 (δῆτα questions are “questions of surprise, logical doubt, impatience, or anger”). See note 95 above.
[ back ] 99. Examples of this use of δῆτα questions, referring to something new, the relevance of which becomes clear only later, are: Sophocles Oedipus at Colonus 52; Oedipus King 364, 1002, 1014; Philoctetes 895; Women of Trachis 76, 400, 410, 1219.
[ back ] 100. See IV.4 on irony in the use of δή: §§104-108 on Herodotus, and §§123-126 on Thucydides.
[ back ] 101. I do not agree with Dodds 1960 ad loc., who claims that δῆτα indicates that “Cadmus has reached what he was leading up to.” In my view this is not what the particle indicates, although it is true in this case that Cadmus has reached his most important question. I do agree with Dodds’ paraphrase “well, then” of δῆτα, since it reflects the inferential link that the particle indicates. See also Fraenkel 1950 ad Aeschylus Agamemnon 1286-1290, quoted below in (t20).
[ back ] 102. There is a similar instance of a δῆτα question shortly before in the same monologue: line 1264.
[ back ] 103. Another clear example of such a δῆτα question in a monologue is Sophocles Oedipus at Colonus 1308, where the speaker Polyneices also uses the question to switch to something new, while at the same time marking an inferential link to the preceding. His question is prefaced by the interjection εἶἑν, which seems to signal a “jump” to something new (albeit connected) in the speaker’s thoughts. In the Loeb edition by Lloyd-Jones 1994, the switch is visually emphasized by a paragraph break from this point in both the Greek text and the translation. See IV.3 §§53-64 on such paralinguistic discourse segmentation in ancient Greek texts, and its relation to particle use.
[ back ] 104. Barrett 1964 and Halleran 1995 ad loc. note the echo of the chorus’ εὔφημος in Phaedra’s εὖ.
[ back ] 105. Other examples of turn-initial καί highlighting resonance between utterances by different speakers are found in e.g. Aeschylus Persians 236, 723 (see III.4 §36 for discussion); Libation Bearers 183, 223, 500, 503; Sophocles Ajax 45, 527; Antigone 322, 577, 749; Oedipus King 630, 963, 1019, 1023, 1170; Euripides Bacchae 1372bis; Hippolytus 326; Medea 608, 906; Aristophanes Birds 325bis, 976, 1349, 1437bis; Frogs 67bis, 582bis (see §§43-49 above), 1393ter; Lysistrata 6bis, 88bis, 603, 604, 752bis, 1221.
[ back ] 106. On this function of καί in several genres of ancient Greek literature, especially in narrative contexts, see IV.2.4.4.
[ back ] 107. See also the discussion of turn-initial καὶ πῶς in the example from Aristophanes Frogs above, §§43-46.
[ back ] 108. See III.5 §§57-58 for discussion of different aspects of this same scene.
[ back ] 109. The passage also contains instances of turn-initial καί in 561 and 564, where the women use them to underline the connectedness and the extent of their complaints. Stanford 1958 ad loc. paraphrases καί in 564 as “Yes, and what’s more…”. The particles δέ and γε in 565bis are not connected to resonance, as the construction discussed in §§80-83 above, because they do not occur within the same discourse act; the position of πως suggest an act boundary before δεισάσα. Turn-initial δέ here marks the utterance as a new step in the discourse (see III.4 §§34-38).
[ back ] 110. This general function of καί leads to many different uses in different contexts. See III.2 §§33-38 for several uses in drama. See IV.2.4 on the multifunctionality of καί in Herodotus and Thucydides.
[ back ] 111. In the lines left out, there is another γάρ (741), but this one marks an utterance-internal relation.
[ back ] 112. A similar angry dialogue full of γάρ instances and repetitions of words and concepts is the one by Menelaus and Teucer in Sophocles Ajax 1120-1141, about (not) burying Ajax. Another example of turn-initial γάρ clarifying resonance is found in Sophocles Philoctetes 250.
[ back ] 113. Creon’s utterance in 736 also refers back to Haemon’s line of argumentation as a whole, besides the specific element of the city.
[ back ] 114. On γάρ marking an expansion or unfolding of the previous discourse in Homer and Pindar, see II.3 §28, §§71-72; II.4 §§15-28; II.5 §79; in Herodotus and Thucydides, see IV.3 §§109-110; IV.5 §19, §39, §68, §95.
[ back ] 115. See also Goldhill’s discussion of this stichomythia, including ample attention to the many γάρ instances (2012:58-63), as well as the elaborate discussion of this dialogue and the lexical repetitions in it by Pfeiffer-Petersen 1996. The latter author writes (62) that at 730, Creon tries to make his opponent insecure with a rhetorical question echoing Haemon’s ἔργα. Creon’s echo in 734 has a similar function: he repeats πόλις with “apparent amazement” (“mit offensichtlichem, rhetorischem Erstaunen,” 62). Pfeiffer-Petersen then notes (63) that the formal resemblance between 742 (διὰ δίκης ἰὼν by Creon) and 743 (οὐ γὰρ δίκαιά by Haemon) emphasizes the contrast in the content of the two utterances. Finally, she points out (63-64) that line 744 also receives emphasis by repeating the concept of ἁμαρτάνω from 743. Pfeiffer-Petersen concludes (65) that the numerous lexical repetitions across utterances in this dialogue show the intensity (“Heftigkeit”) of the conflict. She also notes that most of these echoes are Haemon’s (seven out of eleven repetitions in lines in 726-765), which indicates his interest in influencing Creon’s views as well as his willingness to respond to Creon’s arguments. Budelmann 1998:6 adds, in his review of Pfeiffer-Petersen’s book, that “many of the words Haemon repeats are prominent elsewhere in the play.” The resonance triggered by these words may thus not only serve communicative purposes of the speaking characters, but also those of the playwright, on a different level.
[ back ] 116. See also III.5 §19 and §88 on this general point concerning particles and emotion expression.
[ back ] 117. The angry dialogue between Oedipus and Teiresias in Sophocles Oedipus King 316-462 also contains many instances of γάρ, nine times uttered by Teiresias, and four times by Oedipus. During the workshop Word Play: Ancient Greek Drama and the Role of Particles in November 2012 in Heidelberg, it was suggested by Andreas Willi and Evert van Emde Boas that Teiresias perhaps uses these γάρ-instances in an “arrogant” way, claiming to have more knowledge than his interlocutor. However, only four of Teiresias’ γάρ’s in this passage are turn-initial (one by Oedipus), marking a relation across turns; the others mark a turn-internal relation.
[ back ] 118. Other examples include Sophocles Ajax 1121-1135 (seven instances of turn-initial γάρ); Oedipus King 549-551 (two instances of turn-initial τοι in resonating utterances); Aristophanes Acharnians 407-409 (five instances of turn-initial ἀλλά); Assemblywomen 773bis-776bis (four instances of turn-initial γάρ in resonating utterances, all by the same speaker), 799bis-804bis (six instances of turn-initial δέ, all by the same speaker); Clouds 914-920bis (three instances of turn-initial δέ γε/δέ… γε); Knights 363-365 (three instances of turn-initial δέ γε/δέ… γε), 1154-1156 (two instances of turn-initial δέ γε/δέ… γε); Wealth 164-168 (seven instances of δέ γε/δέ… γε, here not marking resonance themselves, but adding new steps); 1090-1091 (two instances of turn-initial δέ γε/δέ… γε), 1155-1159 (five instances of turn-initial ἀλλά).
[ back ] 119. See III.5 §§45-47 on γε in contexts of agitation in drama.
[ back ] 120. See III.4 §62 on γε in answers in drama.
[ back ] 121. As for the function of τοιγάρ, Hartung 1833:354 and Bäumlein 1861:253-254 describe it as marking a decisive or natural conclusion from the preceding.