Dionysism and Comedy

Dionysism and Comedy

by Xavier Riu


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This book investigates the idea of comic seriousness in Old Comedy. The issue has been a vexing one in classical studies, and the most traditional stance has been that Aristophanes' comedies reflect his personal ideology, reducing the plays to little more than political speeches. Riu concludes, in contrast, that we should abandon our preconceptions about comic seriousness and approach the language of Aristophanes with care and precision, alert to the nuances of meaning that the comic genre entails. Attempting to set Old Comedy in its proper context, Riu explores the myth and ritual of Dionysus in the city-state (including a reading of Euripides'Bacchae and other sources) and relates the patterns found in those myths to the works of Aristophanes. The book concludes with a section on the relationship between comedy and reality, the import of insults in comedy, comedy as ritual, the relationship between author and character, and the seriousness of comedy. With an appendix that examines the exceptional case ofClouds,Dionysism and Comedy is an important resource for students and scholars of classical comedy and the comedic genre.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780847694426
Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc.
Publication date: 09/28/1999
Series: Greek Studies: Interdisciplinary Approaches Series
Pages: 304
Product dimensions: 5.78(w) x 8.94(h) x 0.91(d)

About the Author

Xavier Riu is associate professor in the department of Greek philology at the University of Barcelona.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1 Introduction Part 2 Part I: The Reading of Old Comedy Part 3 Part II: Dionysus in Greek Religion: Toward a Reading of theBacchae Chapter 4 Chapter 1: Dionysus the Greek Chapter 5 Chapter 2: Mythic Geographies: Dionysiac Mixtures Chapter 6 Chapter 3: Dionysus and the City Chapter 7 Chapter 4: Happiness and the Dead Part 8 Part III: Dionysism and Comedy Chapter 9 Chapter 5: Presentation of the Comic Dionysism: Frogs Chapter 10 Chapter 6: The Negation of the City: Wasps and Knights Chapter 11 Chapter 7: The Foundation of a Comic City: Birds Chapter 12 Chapter 8: The Role of Women in Comedy and Religion: Lysistrata, Thesmophoriazusae, and Ecclesiazusae Chapter 13 Chapter 9: Peace and Justice: Acharnians, Peace, and Plutus Chapter 14 Chapter 10: Comedy and Reality: How to Save the City Chapter 15 Appendix: The Problem of Clouds: A Defense of the City? Chapter 16 Bibliography Chapter 17 Index

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