Aristophanes and the Poetics of Competition by Zachary P. Biles

By Zachary P. Biles

Athenian comedian drama used to be written for functionality at fairs honouring the god Dionysos. via dramatic motion and open discourse, poets sought to have interaction their opponents and provoke the viewers, all with a view to receive victory within the competitions. This e-book makes use of that aggressive functionality context as an interpretive framework in which to appreciate the thematic pursuits shaping the plots and poetic caliber of Aristophanes' performs specifically, and of previous Comedy normally. learning 5 person performs from the Aristophanic corpus in addition to fragments of different comedian poets, it unearths the aggressive poetics designated to every. It additionally strains thematic connections with different poetic traditions, in particular epic, lyric, and tragedy, and thereby seeks to put aggressive poetics inside of broader tendencies in Greek literature

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92 The words of praise for him are thus self-praise (esp. 94 Indeed, the idea of poetic exchange seems implicit in the very way the term parabainein is Cf. Sifakis (1971) 63. The Clouds parabasis (518–19) opens without reference to parabainein and focusses instead on the purpose of verbal discourse (κατερῶ πρὸς ὑμᾶς), since the poet’s arrival before the audience is adequately signaled when the chorus speak as him in the first-person singular. â•›. κατερῶ πρὸς ὑμᾶς here is the dramatic equivalent of the parabatic formula παραβαίνειν πρὸς τὸ θέατρον in three of the passages cited above (Ach.

Within a sequence of dialogues structured on the model of a rhapsodic contest, Plato’s Hermocrates bids Critias to begin his speech-performance only after calling upon Apollo Paion and the Muses (Criti. 108c). Critias himself adds a special invocation to the Muses’ mother Mnemosyne (Criti. 19–22). , in a way most suiting the Muses), he directs the chorus to accompany his offering with a song to the goddesses (Ra. 871–4),37 and their response (Ra. 38 Within this scene, each poet is allowed to pray to the specific deities who will support his performance (885–94).

Ag. , is striking because the immediate context focuses on the chorus’ problem of getting their welcome of Agamemnon right. 63 The framework can be observed in Ar. Clouds, where Strepsiades’ gloating encomium of his own achievement (1201–11) sets up his divine punishment when the Clouds ultimately reassert the place of the traditional gods (1454–61); cf. Macleod (1981). 61 28 From Thamyris to Aristophanes T h e pa r a b a s i s a n d t h e p oe t ic s of s e l f -a s s e r t ion In an Aristophanic comedy, the parabasis usually comes at a central point, when the actors have left the stage and the chorus is alone in the orchestra.

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