Greek Comedy and Ideology
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Greek Comedy and Ideology

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The happy endings of comedy resolve conflicts that have their sources in the real world. These conflicts, in turn, leave their mark upon the texts in the form of gaps in the plot and inconsistencies of characterization. Greek Comedy and Ideology analyses how the structure of ancient Greek comedy betrays and responds to cultural tensions in the society of the classical city-state. Individual chapters treat Aristophanic and Menandrean comedies, with a final chapter on Moliere.show more

Product details

  • Hardback | 256 pages
  • 161.3 x 242.6 x 20.3mm | 557.37g
  • Oxford University Press Inc
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • New.
  • 0195092945
  • 9780195092943
  • 2,043,777

Back cover copy

Comedy, with its happy endings, attempts to resolve conflicts that arise in the real world. These conflicts, however, leave their mark on the texts in the form of gaps in plot and inconsistencies in characterization. Greek Comedy and Ideology, exploits a new and distinct critical method - ideological criticism - to analyze how ancient Greek comedy betrays and responds to cultural tensions in the society of the classical city-state. Konstan begins by examining the utopian features of Aristophanes' comedies - for example, an all-powerful city inhabited by birds, or a world of limitless wealth presided over by the god of Wealth himself - as interventions in the political issues of his time. He goes on to explore the more private world of Menandrean comedy (as well as two adaptations of Menander by the Roman playwright Terence), illustrating how problems of social status, citizenship, and gender are negotiated by means of elaborately contrived plots. Konstan closes with a chapter examining an imitation of ancient comedy by Moliere, and the way in which the ideology of emerging capitalism transforms the premises of the classical genre.show more

Review quote

Greek Comedy and Ideology collects eleven elegantly written essays on Greek comedy ... All the essays have appeared in print before; but they have been revised for this republication, and one is glad in any case to have them readily accessible in one place ... it is unfailingly readable, intelligent and stimulating - which in my estimation makes it an uncommonly good book. * Malcolm Heath, University of Leeds, Hermathena, A Dublin University Review *show more

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