Aristophanes' Thesmophoriazusae: Philosophizing Theatre and by Ashley Clements

By Ashley Clements

Aristophanes' comedian masterpiece Thesmophoriazusae has lengthy been well-known among the performs of previous Comedy for its deconstruction of tragic theatricality. This e-book unearths that this deconstruction is grounded no longer easily in Aristophanes' wider engagement with tragic realism. really, it demonstrates that from its outset Aristophanes' play attracts upon Parmenides' philosophical revelations pertaining to truth and phantasm, applying Eleatic strictures and imagery to philosophize the theatrical state of affairs, criticize Aristophanes' poetic rival Euripides as promulgator of destructive deceptions, disclose the damaging complicity of Athenian theatre audiences in tragic phantasm, and articulate political recommendation to an viewers negotiating a interval of political turmoil characterised via deception and uncertainty (the months sooner than the oligarchic coup of 411 BC). The ebook thereby restores Thesmophoriazusae to its right prestige as a philosophical comedy and divulges hitherto unrecognized facts of Aristophanes' political use of Eleatic principles through the past due 5th century BC.

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Aristophanes' Thesmophoriazusae: Philosophizing Theatre and the Politics of Perception in Late Fifth-Century Athens (Cambridge Classical Studies)

Aristophanes' comedian masterpiece Thesmophoriazusae has lengthy been well-known among the performs of previous Comedy for its deconstruction of tragic theatricality. This e-book unearths that this deconstruction is grounded now not easily in Aristophanes' wider engagement with tragic realism. really, it demonstrates that from its outset Aristophanes' play attracts upon Parmenides' philosophical revelations relating fact and phantasm, using Eleatic strictures and imagery to philosophize the theatrical scenario, criticize Aristophanes' poetic rival Euripides as promulgator of destructive deceptions, disclose the damaging complicity of Athenian theatre audiences in tragic phantasm, and articulate political suggestion to an viewers negotiating a interval of political turmoil characterised by means of deception and uncertainty (the months sooner than the oligarchic coup of 411 BC).

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Additional resources for Aristophanes' Thesmophoriazusae: Philosophizing Theatre and the Politics of Perception in Late Fifth-Century Athens (Cambridge Classical Studies)

Sample text

That with which one must see, it crafted first, the eye, ‘in imitation of the solar disc’,31 and for hearing, bored the ear as a funnel. K. Aha! So, because of this funnel I’m neither to hear nor to see? I’m beside myself to have learnt that! Intellectual conversations32 are really something! 30 31 32 20 20 182a (Kannicht). But see my p. 47 n. 11 and pp. ’s parodic cosmology here, and p. 83 n. 107 for further discussion of the particular significance of E. frs. 839, 484 (Kannicht) as possible Euripidean antecedents.

293b7– 294a8, with S. Austin (1986) 116–23, esp. 122; cf. Chance (1992) 130–6. For the tendentious application of Eleatic logic underlying such eristic tactics, see S. Austin (1986) 116–23; Palmer (1999) 126–39; and my following discussion. For the affinity between Plato’s Euthd. and Aristophanic comedy, see Chance (1992) 191–2: ‘all those grotesqueries which he [sc. Plato] used to characterize the [. ] antithesis to his own dialectic – the misuse of verbal triggers, the devious employment of ambiguous words and syntax, incomprehensible talk, non sequiturs and sophisms, even radically abrupt transitions, insults and slanders of every description, eristical dodges, puns – are precisely the signs that point to the discourse of actors on the comic stage’; and 277–8 n.

Cat. 13 uses similar language when retelling the Athenian myth of Erichthonius, a character said to have invented the chariot ‘in imitation of the sun’, and cites Euripides as his authority for the story (E. fr. 925 (Kannicht)). But for the philosophical currency of such comparisons of the eye to the sun or comparable light source, see Sansone (1996) 343 and Rashed (2007) on Empedoclean imagery, and for earlier appearances of the visual ray in Pythagoras and Parmenides, see also Aët. 9–10 (= 28a48 DK).

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