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By Stephanie Nelson

Regardless of the numerous stories of Greek comedy and tragedy individually, scholarship has normally missed the relation of the 2. And but the genres constructed jointly, have been played jointly, and stimulated one another to the level of turning into polar opposites. In Aristophanes and His Tragic Muse, Stephanie Nelson considers this competition via an research of the way the genres built, by way of the tragic and comedian components in satyr drama, and via contrasting particular Aristophanes performs with tragedies on related topics, akin to the person, the polis, and the gods. The examine unearths that tragedy’s specialize in necessity and a quest for that means enhances a missed yet serious point in Athenian comedy: its curiosity in freedom, and the ambivalence of its incompatible visions of fact.

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Such a release is, of course, the essence of humor for Freud, as 1960, 205–223; Halliwell in Revermann. See Ley, 2007, 173–174 and Kowalzig in Murray and Wilson, 60 for the focus on dramatic rather than lyric choral performances. Revermann, 2006, 273 cites Wealth 290–321 as an unusual comic appropriation of dithyramb, although Henderson in Roisman, 240 points to parodies of lyric and epic as well as of tragedy. ; Wilson, 2000b, 75: “The choral reorganization of the Great Dionysia—often regarded as little more than a matter comedy and tragedy in athens 31 In so doing, the special organization of dithyramb also set off comedy and tragedy as a pair, allowing, for example, for Plato’s reference to “the best of either kind of poetry, comedy on the one hand and tragedy on the other” (Theat.

This is a charged word in Sophocles. Every character who thinks they have found lusis, release, is mistaken, and usually finds that what they thought was release is bringing them into deeper disaster”; comedy and tragedy in athens 37 order, even before I approach individual plays. In seeing tragedy as emphasizing necessity and comedy freedom, I do not mean that tragedy preaches submission to higher forces or that comedy merely indulges us in fantasy. Tragedy concerns necessity, but foremost among its concerns is the opening up of questions, both about necessity and about human life.

Oedipus Tyrannos is certainly disturbing, but I would argue that it is the sense of necessity with which it closes that makes it so. Wright, 2005, 226–228, with bibliography, argues against the search for ambiguity in tragedy and points out that, without a tragic trilogy 38 chapter 1 the presence of necessity thereby render the play simplistic, as the example of the Bacchae makes clear. In short, the fact that tragedy is concerned with necessity in no way implies that the necessity is unproblematic.

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