Aristophanes: Myth, Ritual and Comedy by A. M. Bowie

By A. M. Bowie

This e-book examines the performs of the Greek comedian author Aristophanes and makes an attempt to reconstruct the responses of the unique audiences by utilizing anthropological thoughts to match the performs with these Greek myths and rituals that percentage comparable tale styles or material. it's the first publication to use this sort of research systematically to the entire comedies, and in addition differs from previous reports in that it doesn't impose a unmarried interpretative constitution at the performs. All Greek is translated.

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In Athens, the impartial administration of the law was seen as a guarantee of freedom from tyranny. 63 Dicaeopolis does finally share some of his wine with the newlyweds who send their bridesmaid, but the reason for so doing is frivolous: 'Come, what are you saying? [She whispers]. What an amusing request the bride is keen to make of me! She wants me to see that her husband's cock is a stay-at-home' (1058—60). Amusing he may find it, but from the city's point of view the war-effort would not be much advanced if all young men behaved thus.

23 Further evidence for Athens' debased condition is to be found in the relations between the old and the young. Traditionally in Greek society, the young did the fighting whilst the old deliberated on policy at home and abroad: the Greek word presbeus means both 'old man' and 'ambassador'. In Acharnians this position has been reversed. While the younger generation suffer the luxurious hardships of embassies, Dicaeopolis puts his life at risk as a soldier (68-72):24 Ambassador. And then we suffered as we crossed the Caystrian plains under canopies, lying luxuriously in carriages - it nearly killed us.

Wine is the mirror of the soul',25 and attitudes to wine and the symposium act as a metaphor for political attitudes. Frontisi-Ducroux describes the process with the vases as follows:26 when the vase, even as it presents itself to be looked at - offering the banqueter selected representations of the city, its activities, and its models — begins to look back at the drinker, to fix his eyes with its own, the serene relationship of the spectator to the image becomes troubled, and the one-way relation of subject to object is inverted.

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