The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Comedy (Oxford Handbooks)
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In recent decades literary approaches to drama have multiplied: new historical, intertextual, political, performative and metatheatrical, socio-linguistic, gender-driven, transgenre-driven. New information has been amassed, sometimes by re-examination of extant literary texts and material artifacts, at other times from new discoveries from the fields of archaeology, epigraphy, art history, and literary studies. The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Comedy marks the first comprehensive introduction to and reference work for the unified study of ancient comedy. From the birth of comedy in Greece to its end in Rome, from the Hellenistic diffusion of performances after the death of Menander to its artistic, scholarly, and literary receptions in the later Roman Empire, no topic is neglected. 41 essays spread across Greek Comedy, Roman Comedy, and the transmission and reception of Ancient comedy by an international team of experts offer cutting-edge guides through the immense terrain of the field, while an expert introduction surveys the major trends and shifts in scholarly study of comedy from the 1960s to today. The Handbook includes two detailed appendices that provide invaluable research tools for both scholars and students. The result offers Hellenists an excellent overview of the earliest reception and creative reuse of Greek New Comedy, Latinists a broad perspective of the evolution of Roman Comedy, and scholars and students of classics an excellent resource and tipping point for future interdisciplinary research.
opinion in that case was Justice Potter Stewart’s, that the Constitution protected all obscenity except “hard core pornography”; he continued: I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.6 Obviously, debate on the definition of obscenity continued. In Miller
Dicaeopolis in Acharnians slipped so easily into the persona of Aristophanes (501–518) because the actor was the poet himself, or if Cratinus played the main role in his autobiographical fantasy, the Wineflask (Pytine). Talented outsiders are not clearly visible in comedy’s professional ranks until the early forth century. In professional development, comedy lagged behind tragedy. The Athenian Dionysia instituted a prize for tragic acting in about 449, but no prize for comic acting until sometime
a major interest in Old Comedy, apparently inspired by local performances 01_9780199743544-Part_1_29-92.indd 56 10/22/2013 7:56:52 PM PERFORMING GREEK COMEDY 57 FIGURE 2.2 Abbreviated comic chorus in performance. Fragmentary Attic red-figured chous, 380–360 BCE, Benaki Museum 30895. Reconstruction by S. Pingiatoglou. Drawing by M. Miltsakakis. Reproduced courtesy of S. Pingiatoglou. (Figures 2.3–4, 7.1–2). After 300, comic artifacts are produced in all media throughout the
(Acharnians) or the entire male population of Greece (Lysistrata)—is either unwilling or unable to end the war, since that objective is being thwarted by certain groups of people who are profiting from a state of constant war. In response, one individual opts out of society, creating a private realm of peace for himself and his family in Acharnians. In Lysistrata, the women coerce the stubborn males into making peace by refusing to have sex with their spouses—hence this peace is not based on
model of interactions between poet and audience. While all comic poets are under constant pressure to offer their audience something new (Clouds 547, Wasps 1044), Aristophanes sets a specific target for himself in one stratum of the population: those of good taste (Peace 739–751, Frogs 1–34) and moderation (Clouds 537, Wasps 1023–1028). He exudes confidence in laying claim to the epithet “sophisticated” for his own comic art (Peace 750; Frogs 901, 906) and proudly emphasizes that a good comedy