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THE

ANCIENT CLASSICAL DRAMA

MOULTON

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ANCIENT CLASSICAL DRAMA

A Study in Literary Evolution

INTENDED FOR READERS IN ENGLISH AND IN

THE ORIGINAL

BY

RICHARD G MOULTON, M.A.

LATE SCHOLAR OF CHRIST'S COLLEGE

CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY (EXTENSION) LECTURER IN LITERATURE

Oxford

AT THE CLARENDON PRESS

1890

[ All rights reserved]

885 M93 Cop, 3

Oxford

PRINTED AT THE CLARENDON PRESS

BY HORACE HART, PRINTER TO THE UNIVERSITY

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I S. Weeke 3-13-68 (add. Cop)

PREFACE.

I HAVE ventured to entitle this work 'A Study in Literary Evolution.' It is obvious that some of the familiar processes and results of evolution are to be traced in literature. Within the field of the Ancient Classical Drama we can see a common starting-point from which lines of development extend in various directions; the rise of new literary species, or transitional tendencies not amounting to distinction of species; developments traceable in embryo and on to maturity, with precious links preserving processes of change all but lost; unstable forms that continually originate literary changes, reversions to type, and survivals of forms long after their raison d'être has passed away; while the Drama as a whole will present the double process of growth in simplicity from the indefinite to the regular, and the passage from simple to complex. Thus to survey the phenomena of literary development gives a point of view distinct from that of literary history. History is concerned with the sum of individual works produced: evolution takes account only of literary varieties. History will always give prominence to the

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