Daphnis and Chloe Background

Daphnis and Chloe Background

Daphnis and Chloe is one of the few surviving examples of one of the most unusual genres of ancient literature: the Greek romance. The author is known only as Longus and is believed to have lived on the isle of Lesbos between the 2nd and 3rd Century. Daphnis and Chloe is just one of five surviving Greek romances, a genre characterized by being written in prose rather than verse and featuring a narrative that is creatively fictional rather than adapting ancient myths.

The narrative is divided into four books as the trajectory of the narrative moves the titular lovers through the four seasons, each of which presents a test for the love growing and intensifying between the innocents Daphnis and Chloe, whose struggle is to remain in that idyllic world of natural beauty and the nobility of being true and faithful to each other. Longus introduces a pastoral element and fuses the romance with elements of New Comedy to create what ultimately is a hybridization that is often viewed as an essential precursor in the development of the novel.

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