To many people Aristophanes is the most immediately attractive and enjoyable of the Greek dramatists. No other comedies from the great age of Attic drama survive in a complete state, and the vigour of his fictions and the brilliance of his humour maintain their power to stimulate and entertain even after two thousand years.
Aristophanes: Poet and Dramatist, first published in 1986,offers an account of the early comedies and Frogs, the most famous of his works. It avoids theorising and abstraction, keeping close to individual passages and scenes, whilst also shunning a pedestrian approach in favour of one which seeks out illuminating similarities and contrasts, both within Aristophanes’ own corpus and between the comedian and other writers on whom he draws. The focus throughout is on the serious and accomplished craftsman, whose achievement deserves and repays the kind of detailed scrutiny applied to tragic and lyric poetry.
Preface; Introduction 1. The Poet as Story-teller 2. Aristophanes the Orator: Attack and Defence 3. Aristophanes the Orator: Praise and Blame 4. Dialogue 5. From Myth to Play: Dona nobis pacem 6. Dramatising Institutions 8. Clouds; Select Bibliography; Index
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