Download e-book for kindle: Aristophanes And His Theatre of the Absurd by Paul Cartledge

By Paul Cartledge

ISBN-10: 1853991147

ISBN-13: 9781853991141

Aristophanes, the Athenian comedian dramatist, continues to be well known regardless of old adjustments in perspective and trust. putting the performs of their overall civic, spiritual and dramatic context, this account explores their importance for modern audiences, and their carrying on with allure. Separate chapters tackle points of his paintings and global, and try to define the playwright's personal reviews at a time of extreme political debate. With unique texts quoted in translation this finished and energetic learn will offer 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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Chapter 3 The Wisdom of the Poet A rare dramatic failure or a roaring success? After a run of two first prizes at successive Lenaia Aristophanes in 423 tried his hand again at the Dionysia, where he may have won three years earlier with Babylonians. Sadly, Clouds (Nephelai) was a flop and came third, beaten both by Kratinos' swansong play Putirie and by Ameipsias' Konnos. It is usually impossible for us to say why a play did - or did not - win. g. in the parabasis). In the case of Clouds, however, we have a little more to go on.

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. For the school's divine patrons are the eponymous Clouds (a brilliant A r i s t o p h a n i c idea which enables him to make play with the agricultural blessings that will be conferred on Strepsiades if he proves a model student, echoing the blessings genuinely promised to, for example, devotees of the Eleusinian Mysteries), and yet the Phrontisterion is really a hotbed of irreligion or at least unlicensed religion.

Aristophanes' artful craft Thesmophoriazusae has rightly, and with aptly A r i s t o p h a n i c paronomasia, been described as 'a play on worlds' (Nick Lowe in Omnibus 17). In the perhaps more typically patterned plays like Acharnians the hero is a 'little man' who conceives a 'big idea' to transform (almost) single-handed some global situation that he finds intolerable. The ordinariness of the starting-point is crucial to the comedy, since it provides the necessary flipside to the surrealist fantasy, inconsequentiality and suspension of normal causality that characterise what might laughingly be called the development of the plot.

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Aristophanes And His Theatre of the Absurd by Paul Cartledge


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