Aristophanes Essay - Aristophanes World Literature Analysis

Aristophanes World Literature Analysis

Aristophanes’ plays can be studied as sources for political or social history, as works of literature, and as dramatic works. In antiquity, Plato recommended them to Dionysius I, tyrant of Syracuse, when the latter wished to learn more about Athens; in the twentieth century, Viktor Ehrenberg employed them to write “a sociology of Old Attic Comedy.” The distinction between the plays as literature and as drama rests upon the separation of poetic form from techniques of staging. Comic plays were usually produced only once: thereafter, they might be disregarded or studied as literature but were not “seen” again. The absence of staging instructions within the plays, as well as a frequent failure to differentiate the speakers...

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