Comic Angels and Other Approaches to Greek Drama through Vase-Paintings by Oliver Taplin

Comic Angels and Other Approaches to Greek Drama through Vase-Paintings

byOliver Taplin

Paperback | October 1, 1994

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This book opens up a neglected chapter in the reception of Athenian drama, especially comedy; and it gives stage-centre to a particularly attractive and entertaining series of vase-paintings, which have been generally regarded as marginal curiosities. These are the so-called `phlyax vases',nearly all painted in the Greek cities of South Italy in the period 400 t0 360 BC. Up till now, they have been taken to reflect some kind of local folk-theatre, but Oliver Taplin, prompted especially by three that have only been published in the last twelve years, argues that most, if not all,reflect Athenian comedy of the sort represented by Aristophanes. This bold thesis opens up questions of the relation of tragedy as well as comedy to vase-painting, the cultural climate of the Greek cities in Italy, and the extent to which Athenians were aware of drama as a potential `export'. It also enriches appreciation of many key aspects of Aristophaniccomedy: its metatheatre and self-reference, its use of stage-action and stage-props, its unabashed indecency, and its polarised relationship, even rivalry, with tragedy. The book has assembled thirty-six photographs of vase-paintings. Many are printed here for the first time outside specialistpublications that are not readily accessible.

About The Author

Oliver Taplin is at Magdalen College, Oxford.
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Title:Comic Angels and Other Approaches to Greek Drama through Vase-PaintingsFormat:PaperbackDimensions:142 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.55 inPublished:October 1, 1994Publisher:Oxford University Press

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0198150008

ISBN - 13:9780198150008

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'very worthwhile study ... the book has some superb, well-chosen illustrations which demonstrate to good effect all of the feaures we have come to associate with comic characters ... This is an interesting and thought-provoking study, whih will encourage us to reappraise some long-heldassumptions about the role of comedy beyond mainland Greece.'Richard Harrison, The Greek Gazette, November 1993