Aristophanes and the Definition of Comedy

Paperback | August 1, 2002

byM. S. Silk

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Michael Silk presents a radically new critical study of Aristophanes. Against the limited view of Aristophanes as Athenian theatrical satirist, Professor Silk identifies him as one of the world's great writers. Through an exploration of Aristophanes' comic poetry, informed by a wide range oftheory from Kierkegaard to Adorno, a particular consideration of Aristophanes' own understanding of his medium, and challenging comparisons with modern literature, this book adds a new chapter to the long-standing debate about the nature and potentialities of comedy. Close analyses of Aristophanes'language and style, lyric poetry, presentation of character, organizational structures, and humorous modes, are conducted in this spirit. The enigma of 'serious comedy' and of Aristophanes' complex preoccupation with tragedy is at the centre of a new assessment of Aristophanic comedy as a whole. AllGreek in the text is translated; the versions offered seek to convey the distinctive character of the original.

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Michael Silk presents a radically new critical study of Aristophanes. Against the limited view of Aristophanes as Athenian theatrical satirist, Professor Silk identifies him as one of the world's great writers. Through an exploration of Aristophanes' comic poetry, informed by a wide range oftheory from Kierkegaard to Adorno, a particul...

M. S. Silk is Professor of Greek Language and Literature at King's College in the University of London

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:462 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.97 inPublished:August 1, 2002Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:019925382X

ISBN - 13:9780199253821

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Table of Contents

1. Three Openings2. Comedy and Tragedy3. Language and Style4. The Lesson of the Lyric Poetry5. Character and Characterization6. Causal Sequences and Other Patterns7. Serious Issues and 'Serious Comedy'8. Mode, Meaning, and Assessment

Editorial Reviews

`Of the dozen or so excellent books on Aristophanes that have appeared in the last decade, M. S. Silk's Aristophanes and the Definition of Comedy stands out as a particularly refreshing re-reading of this unique author's melange of old jokes, high lyrics, low lyrics and virtuoso scatology. Itis clearly a labour of love ... a genuine contribution to the field of Aristophanic studies.'Erich Segal, TLS