The City as Comedy: Society and Representation in Athenian Drama

The City as Comedy: Society and Representation in Athenian Drama

by Gregory W. Dobrov (Editor)


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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780807846452
Publisher: The University of North Carolina Press
Publication date: 02/23/1998
Edition description: 1
Pages: 375
Product dimensions: 6.12(w) x 9.25(h) x (d)
Lexile: 1560L (what's this?)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Gregory Dobrov is assistant professor at Loyola University Chicago. His books include Figures of Play and Beyond Aristophanes.

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From the Publisher

In this high aerial survey of Athenian comedy Dobrov's scholarly chorus wings us challengingly past the old polarities of political satire and unpolitical fantasy. The polis is always there, and always reimagined: a new comic creation with its own laws of being, yet rooted in historical realities, dilemmas, and paradoxes that seem, for all their otherness, oddly familiar. Fasten your seat belts securely before you start reading!—Kenneth J. Reckford, author of Aristophanes' Old-and-New Comedy

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