Aristophanes And His Theatre of the Absurd by Paul Cartledge

By Paul Cartledge

Aristophanes, the Athenian comedian dramatist, continues to be well known regardless of old alterations in perspective and trust. putting the performs of their overall civic, spiritual and dramatic context, this account explores their value for modern audiences, and their carrying on with allure. Separate chapters tackle points of his paintings and international, and try to define the playwright's personal reviews at a time of extreme political debate. With unique texts quoted in translation, this entire and full of life research presents scholars with a useful perception into the performs and their position in classical Athens.

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Extra resources for Aristophanes And His Theatre of the Absurd

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Aristophanes, it would seem, was much more interested in the implications, humorous or otherwise, of Socrates' Phrontisterion. Pheidippides, however, in this as in other matters, is not the dutiful son of Athenian unwritten law and refuses to enrol. So Strepsiades feels constrained to find out in person whether this old dog can be taught the new Socratic tricks of rhetoric and is duly enrolled by Socrates himself, in a parody of ritual initiation. The point of this is to introduce the important religious sub-theme of the plot.

Unlike the pattern followed in several Aristophanic plays, this can hardly be described as a 'great idea' of the 'little man' hero, since Strepsiades' personal and rather squalid financial affairs are hardly on an equality of global significance with the troubles caused by the Peloponnesian War. Aristophanes, it would seem, was much more interested in the implications, humorous or otherwise, of Socrates' Phrontisterion. Pheidippides, however, in this as in other matters, is not the dutiful son of Athenian unwritten law and refuses to enrol.

One final paratragic comic device ends the Prologue, the wheeling out {ekkyklema) of Agathon on the trolley used in tragedy to show murdered corpses. w (b) Parodos At last - in Tfiesmophoriazusae after more than 300 lines (perhaps some twenty minutes) - the Chorus enters and the main action normally begins. A conflict develops, often between the actors on one side and the Chorus on the other. The scene has shifted to the Thesmophoria - in imagination only: this is a theatre of convention, not illusion in the modern, naturalistic sense, and there is no attempt to use different scenery or props to suggest the real Thesmophoria setting.

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