The City as Comedy

Society and Representation in Athenian Drama

The City as Comedy

Thirteen essays combine classical scholars' interest in theatrical production with a growing interdisciplinary inquiry into the urban contexts of literary production. At once a study of classical Greek literature and an analysis of cultural production, this collection reveals how for two centuries Athens itself was transformed, staged as comedy, and ultimately shaped by contemporary material, social, and ideological forces.

The City as Comedy

Society and Representation in Athenian Drama

The City as Comedy

These thirteen essays combine classical scholars' interest in theatrical production with a growing interdisciplinary inquiry into the urban contexts of literary production. Taking as their departure point the annual comic competitions at the Athenian dramatic festivals, the contributors examine how the polis--as a place, a political entity, a specific social organization, and a set of ideological representations--was enacted on stage from the middle of the fifth century B.C. through the fourth. Applying a variety of critical approaches to Athenian comedy, these essays are grouped around three broad categories: utopianism, fissures in the social fabric, and the new polis of fourth-century comedy. The contributors explore the sociopolitical and material contexts of the works discussed and trace the genre into the fourth century, when it underwent profound changes. Simultaneously a study of classical Greek literature and an analysis of cultural production, this collection reveals how for two centuries Athens itself was transformed, staged as comedy, and, ultimately, shaped by contemporary material, social, and ideological forces. The contributors are Elizabeth Bobrick, Gregory Crane, Gregory Dobrov, Malcolm Heath, Jeffrey Henderson, Timothy P. Hofmeister, Thomas K. Hubbard, David Konstan, Heinz-GAnther Nesselrath, Frank Romer, Ralph M. Rosen, Niall W. Slater, and John Wilkins. A UNC Press Enduring Edition -- UNC Press Enduring Editions use the latest in digital technology to make available again books from our distinguished backlist that were previously out of print. These editions are published unaltered from the original, and are presented in affordable paperback formats, bringing readers both historical and cultural value.

The Political Theory of Aristophanes

Explorations in Poetic Wisdom

The Political Theory of Aristophanes

Examines the political dimensions of Aristophanes’ comic poetry. This original and wide-ranging collection of essays offers, for the first time, a comprehensive examination of the political dimensions of that madcap comic poet Aristophanes. Rejecting the claim that Aristophanes is little more than a mere comedian, the contributors to this fascinating volume demonstrate that Aristophanes deserves to be placed in the ranks of the greatest Greek political thinkers. As these essays reveal, all of Aristophanes’ plays treat issues of fundamental political importance, from war and peace, poverty and wealth, the relation between the sexes, demagoguery and democracy to the role of philosophy and poetry in political society. Accessible to students as well as scholars, The Political Theory of Aristophanes can be utilized easily in the classroom, but at the same time serve as a valuable source for those conducting more advanced research. Whether the field is political philosophy, classical studies, history, or literary criticism, this work will make it necessary to reconceptualize how we understand this great Athenian poet and force us to recognize the political ramifications and underpinnings of his uproarious comedies.

The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Comedy

The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Comedy

In recent decades literary approaches to drama have multiplied: new historical, intertextual, political, performative and metatheatrical, socio-linguistic, gender-driven, transgenre-driven. New information has been amassed, sometimes by re-examination of extant literary texts and material artifacts, at other times from new discoveries from the fields of archaeology, epigraphy, art history, and literary studies. The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Comedy marks the first comprehensive introduction to and reference work for the unified study of ancient comedy. From the birth of comedy in Greece to its end in Rome, from the Hellenistic diffusion of performances after the death of Menander to its artistic, scholarly, and literary receptions in the later Roman Empire, no topic is neglected. 41 essays spread across Greek Comedy, Roman Comedy, and the transmission and reception of Ancient comedy by an international team of experts offer cutting-edge guides through the immense terrain of the field, while an expert introduction surveys the major trends and shifts in scholarly study of comedy from the 1960s to today. The Handbook includes two detailed appendices that provide invaluable research tools for both scholars and students. The result offers Hellenists an excellent overview of the earliest reception and creative reuse of Greek New Comedy, Latinists a broad perspective of the evolution of Roman Comedy, and scholars and students of classics an excellent resource and tipping point for future interdisciplinary research.

Frogs

Frogs

This is an English translation of Aristophanes' popular comedy in which the god Dionysus seeks to bring the great dramatist Euripides from Hades, where he encounters another great Classical playwright, Aeschylus. Includes background material on the historical and cultural context of this work, suggestions for further reading, and notes. The Focus Classical Library provides close translations with notes and essays to provide access to understanding Greek culture and the roots of contemporary thought.

The Blinded Eye

Thucydides and the New Written Word

The Blinded Eye

Thucydides, the patron saint of Realpolitik, continues to be read in many fields outside of classics. Why did his History succeed in setting the pattern for future scholars where Hereodotus's earlier Histories failed? In this fascinating study of the construction of intellectual authority, Gregory Crane argues that Thucydides was successful for two reasons. First, he refined the language of administration: Who was in charge? How much money was spent? How many people were killed? Second, he drew upon the abstract philosophical rhetoric developing in the fifth century, one in which the state and the public, rather than the family and the individual, stand at the center of the world. Ironically, it was through deeply personal alliances that aristocratic Greeks had defined themselves and exerted power. Thucydides's discursive practice was therefore fundamentally incompatible with his ideological goals.

The City as Catalyst

A Study of Ten Novels

The City as Catalyst

A series of ten chapters on cities as pictured and explored by as many novelists. In these ten separate, yet connected, chapters, the city is not merely a setting for the events, but a moving force and the catalyst for action.

The City as Target

The City as Target

Bringing together scholars from a diverse range of disciplines, The City as Target provides a sustained and critical response to the relationship between the concept of targeting (in its many forms) and notions of understanding, imagining and shaping the urban. Among the many spatial and graphic terms used to describe cities in urban studies, the word target is rarely encountered. Though equally spatial, it differs from these others by implying some motive force, and, more than that, a force with some intentionality. To target is to aim, to project, and ultimately to impact. It suggests a space of violence, or at least action, or movement resulting in displacement, which most other terms do not. In that sense it is useful, underused, and perhaps revelatory. Rather than approach the city as simply a site of growth, processes, and developments, the contributors to this volume treat it as the recipient of attentions. The work draws on a wide variety of geographical sites and historic monuments in order to explore this concept, examining and challenging current urban theories. It seeks to highlight both the power of The Global City and the current vulnerability and fragility of urban culture, exploring the city as a recipient and a culprit in relation to issues including terrorism and urban warfare, the latest cyclical failure of global financial markets, and the relatively new spectre of environmental unsustainability. Offering a unique and relevant contribution to the literature, this work will be of great interest to scholars of urban theory, international relations, postcolonial politics and military studies.

Reader's Guide to Literature in English

Reader's Guide to Literature in English

Reader's Guide Literature in English provides expert guidance to, and critical analysis of, the vast number of books available within the subject of English literature, from Anglo-Saxon times to the current American, British and Commonwealth scene. It is designed to help students, teachers and librarians choose the most appropriate books for research and study.

Figures of Play

Greek Drama and Metafictional Poetics

Figures of Play

Figures of Play explores the reflexive aspects of ancient theatrical culture across genres. Fifth century tragedy and comedy sublimated the agonistic basis of Greek civilization in a way that invited the community of the polis to confront itself. In the theatre, as in the courts and assemblies, a significant subset of the Athenian public was spectator and judge of contests where important social and ideological issues were played to it by its own members. The "syntax" of drama is shown to involve specific "figures of play" through which the theatrical medium turns back on itself to study the various contexts of its production. Greek tragedy and comedy were argued to be tempermentally metafictional in that they are always involved in recycling older fictions into contemporary scenarios of immediate relevance to the polis. The phemonenology of this process is discussed under three headings, each a "figure of play": 1) surface play--momentary disruption of the theatrical pretense through word, sign, gesture; 2) mise en abyme--a mini-drama embedded in a larger framework; 3) contrafact--an extended remake in which one play is based on another. Following three chapters in which this framework is set forth and illustrated with concrete examples there are five case studies named after the protagonists of the plays in question: Aias, Pentheus, Tereus, Bellerophontes, Herakles. Hence the other meaning of "figures of play" as stage figures. In the second section of the book on "the Anatomy of Dramatic Fiction," special attention is paid to the interaction between genres. In particular, Aristophanic comedy is shown to be engaged in an intense rivalry with tragedy that underscores the different ways in which each genre deployed its powers of representation. Tragedy refashions myth: in Bakkhai, for example, it is argued that Euripides reinvented Dionysis to be specifically a theatrical god, a symbol of tragedy's powers of representation. Comedy refashions tragedy: in a series of utopian comedies, Aristophanes re-enacts a tragic scenario in a way that revals comedy as a superior means of solving political and social crisis.