Chiastic Structure

# · ✸ 41 · 💬 12 · one month ago · en.wikipedia.org · hdivider
If one thinks of the lines as concepts, one sees that concept A, which comes first, is also last, and concept B, which comes after A, comes before A. If one adds in more lines representing other concepts, one gets a chiastic structure with more concepts. In his study of Homer's Iliad and Odyssey, Cedric Whitman finds chiastic patterns "Of the most amazing virtuosity" that simultaneously performed both aesthetic and mnemonic functions, permitting the oral poet easily to recall the basic structure of the composition during performances. Based on the earlier study of grammatical structure by F. I. Andersen, Wenham illustrated a chiastic structure as displayed in the following two tables. Chiastic structure of the Genesis Flood Narrative A: Noah and his sons B: All life on earth C: Curse on earth D: Flood announced E: Ark F: All living creatures G: Food H: Animals in man's hands I: Entering the Ark J: Waters increase X: God remembers Noah J': Waters decrease I': Exiting the Ark H': Animals G': Food F': All living creatures E': Ark D': No flood in future C': Blessing on earth B': All life on earth. The verse contains 9 sentences which exhibit chiasmus, but perhaps more interesting is that it is found in the longest chapter of the Quran, Al-Baqara, which itself contains a fractal chiastic structure in its 286 verses, i.e. where each chiasm is composed of chiastic structures reflected in some sense in the analogue outer chiasm. In literary texts with a possible oral origin, such as Beowulf, chiastic or ring structures are often found on an intermediate level, that is, between the level of chiasmus and the higher level of chiastic structure such as noted in the Torah. Each of the three main fights are organized chiastically, a chiastic structure on the level of verse paragraphs and shorter passages.
Chiastic Structure



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