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A biography of aristophanes a comedy poet in the fourth century bc

Periods[ edit ] The Alexandrine grammariansand most likely Aristophanes of Byzantium in particular, seem to have been the first to divide Greek comedy into what became the canonical three periods: These divisions appear to be largely arbitrary, and ancient comedy almost certainly developed constantly over the years.

  • Old Comedy can be understood as a celebration of the exuberant sense of release inherent in his worship It was more interested in finding targets for satire than in any kind of advocacy;
  • Oblique references in later plays suggest that he was probably born around 446 or 448 BCE, possibly the son of a man named Philippos from the island of Aegina, although he was almost certainly educated in Athens;
  • Because no complete Middle Comic plays have been preserved, it is impossible to offer any real assessment of their literary value or "genius";
  • Is this utopia still a paradise by our current standards?
  • Indeed, according to one ancient source Platonius, c;
  • Euripides tries to persuade the effeminate Agathon , a tragic poet, to plead his cause.

Born in 446 B. Aristophanes lampooned the most important personalities and institutions of his day, as can be seen, for example, in his buffoonish portrayal of Socrates in The Cloudsand in his racy anti-war farce Lysistrata.

  • Women at the Thesmophoria In Women at the Thesmophoria 411 bce; Greek Thesmophoriazousai Euripides has discovered that the women of Athens, angered by his constant attacks upon them in his tragedies, mean to discuss during their coming festival the Thesmophoria the question of contriving his death;
  • This bitter and inventive satire uses the metaphor of animals in a barnyard to discuss human politics generally, and the politics of the Soviet Union under Stalin in particular;
  • This enthusiasm determined the comic poet's place, which subsequent scholars generally did not dispute, among the greatest representatives of European literature;
  • Is this utopia still a paradise by our current standards?

He was one of a large number[ clarification needed ] of comic poets working in Athens in the late 5th century, his most important contemporary rivals being Hermippus and Eupolis.

In particular, they copied the technique of disguising a political attack as buffoonery. For ancient scholars, the term may have meant little more than "later than Aristophanes and his contemporaries, but earlier than Menander ".

  • The original Greek comedy, Old Comedy, was a unique dramatic mixture of fantasy, satire literary scorn of human foolishness , slapstick, and obvious sexuality;
  • This was partly due to the internationalization of cultural perspectives during and after the Peloponnesian War.

Middle Comedy is generally seen as differing from Old Comedy in three essential particulars: For at least a time, mythological burlesque was popular among the Middle Comic poets. Stock characters of all sorts also emerge: Because no complete Middle Comic plays have been preserved, it is impossible to offer any real assessment of their literary value or "genius".

Dramatic and literary achievements

But many Middle Comic plays appear to have been revived in Sicily and Magna Graecia in this period, suggesting that they had considerable widespread literary and social influence. New Comedy nea [ edit ] Figurine of an actor wearing the mask of a bald-headed man, 2nd century BC. The playwrights of the New Comedy genre built on the legacy from their predecessors, but adapted it to the portrayal of everyday life, rather than of public affairs.

His plays were also much less satirical than preceding comedies, being marked by a gentle, urbane tone, [13] a taste for good temper and good manners if not necessarily for good morals.

Aristophanes Biography

Examples are Plautus' Asinaria and Rudens. Based on the translation and adaptation of Diphilus' comedies by Plautus, one can conclude that he was skilled in the construction of his plots. The most substantially preserved text is the Dyskolos "Difficult Man, Grouch" by Menander, discovered on a papyrus, and first published in 1958. Influence[ edit ] Horace claimed Menander as a model for his own gentle brand of Roman satire.

Where in comedies of previous generations there were choral interludes, there was dialogue with song. The action of his plays had breaks, the situations in them were conventional and coincidences were convenient, thus showing the smooth and effective development of his plays.

Ancient Greek comedy

Much of contemporary romantic and situational comedy descends from the New Comedy sensibility, in particular generational comedies such as All in the Family and Meet the Parents.