Aristophanes And His Theatre of the Absurd by Paul Cartledge

By Paul Cartledge

Aristophanes, the Athenian comedian dramatist, is still renowned regardless of ancient adjustments in angle 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 elements of his paintings and global, and try to define the playwright's personal reviews at a time of excessive political debate. With unique texts quoted in translation this complete and full of life examine will supply scholars with a useful perception into the performs and their position in classical Athens.

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And when the chips were truly down in the real Athenian world of early 405, there was nothing intrinsically funny in the Frogs' governing idea that Dionysos should fetch back from Hades a tragic poet to save the city. ) The basis of the poet's claim to offer advice and even salvation was his wisdom (sophia), and there, I suggest, lay the rub of the Clouds. A sophistes originally meant anyone whose claim to being sophos, to having practical wisdom, was widely accepted. Solon the early sixth-century BC lawgiver was perhaps the classic example of such a person in the minds of most fifth-century Athenians, and Solon had given his practical political advice interlarded with moral homily inverse.

The result has been a far more balanced appreciation and understanding of Athenian society and mentality with a corresponding improvement in the writing of the general history of Athens. Many problems, however, both theoretical and practical, remain. Is there a 'history of women', that is of women separate from and as opposed to men? Even if such a history might be conceivable or desirable theoretically, can it be put into practice with the evidence available? Since in the case of women at Athens the relevant evidence was written or otherwise produced almost entirely by and for men, is it possible to reconstruct and comprehend anything of women's lives behind and beyond the images of them (possibly idealised or in other ways distorted) constructed by men for male consumption?

The basis of the poet's claim to offer advice and even salvation was his wisdom (sophia), and there, I suggest, lay the rub of the Clouds. A sophistes originally meant anyone whose claim to being sophos, to having practical wisdom, was widely accepted. Solon the early sixth-century BC lawgiver was perhaps the classic example of such a person in the minds of most fifth-century Athenians, and Solon had given his practical political advice interlarded with moral homily inverse. But the poet for Athenians, as for other Greeks, was of course Homer, and although it is misleading to speak of his work as the Greeks' equivalent of a Bible, it is not possible to overestimate the didactic impact of Homer on ordinary Greek consciousness and consciences - least of all at Athens, where his poetry was recited annually at the great birthday festival of Athena, the city's divine patron, the Panathenaia.

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