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The Duchess of Malfi

Comments on Act 5 Scene 3

The concept of the echo scene comes from classical literature.  In his 5th century BCE comedy Thesmophoriazusae (Women’s Festival) Aristophanes parodies an echo scene from Euripides’ earlier (and now lost) Andromeda.

In book three of the Metamorphoses, Ovid depicts the love story of Narcissus and Echo, a young girl doomed to speak only through repeating another’s words.

In Renaissance drama, examples can be found in Ben Jonson’s Cynthia’s Revels, and Thomas Dekker’s Old Fortunatus, among others.

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