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Aristophanes' Lystrata

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  • Essay length: 1794 words
  • Submitted: 30/05/2009
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Introduction to the Western Theatrical Tradition.

Question 2.

"Aristophanes was not a subtle writer, and his plays - more than most - are a theatrical rather than a literary experience." Robert Corrigan

Analyse Lysistrata to estimate how accurately Corrigan's statement describes Aristophanes' anti-war play.

This essay perceives Corrigan's statement to be accurate that Lysistrata is definitely a more theatrical than a literary experience. There are many reasons for Lysistrata's theatrical proficiency and they include it being written in the style of 'Old Comedy' the audience and their expectations especially at the festivals of Dionysus and Lenaia, the loose structure of Greek comedy, the impossibility of the plot, the language, and the intense Aristophanic parodies.

Old Comedy is typical of Aristophanes in the 5th Century BC. Its characteristics are that it is surreal and fantastical, and its butts of jokes are specific individuals or even current political ideas. Old Comedy as contrasted with New Comedy contained more slapstick routines, physical energy music and dance. Old Comedy fulfilled a function in Greek festivals to entertain the audience and was in contrast to tragedy at the time, which contained a stronger moral message.

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