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What is an example of a classic ode?  What makes an ode and please analyze/explain the poetic devices used and the meaning of an example ode.

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Derived from a word meaning "to sing," odes were originally sung in accompaniment to musical instruments; along with their lyrical features, odes were very dignified in style and tone. Originally performed by a chorus in Greek drama, the odes in Sophocles's Oedipus Rex can serve well as examples. 

Such a Greek ode is

  • usually written in iambic (ta DUM [unstressed syllable followed by stressed syllable]) tetrameter (3 of this ta DUM pattern)
  • with a varied rhyme
  • containing three "acts" in stanzas of 4-6 lines that are composed of  
  1. the strophe, which is the first side of the "story"
  2. the antistrophe, which is the other side of the "story"
  3. the epode, which is the "review"
  • having themes about the gods, individuals, experiences, (Pindaric ode), or themes that are highly personal (Horatian ode)

*EXAMPLE: ODE 2 from Oedipus Rex.  This ode follows the first act in which Oedipus, the king of Thebes seeks a solution to the plague from which Thebes suffers because it is cursed by the presence of the murderer of...

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