The Origin of Attic Comedy

The Origin of Attic Comedy

by Francis MacDonald Cornford


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The Origin of Attic Comedy was originally published in 1934. Its author, Francis Macdonald Cornford (1874-1943), was Laurence Professor of Ancient Philosophy and a fellow of Trinity College, Cambridge. Beginning with Aristotle's observation that from the earliest stage Attic Comedy had 'certain definite forms', Cornford shows that these forms are clearly observable in the plays of Aristophanes and that they derived from a ritual drama common to both tragedy and comedy. Cornford was surprised by his own conclusions and his enquiries led him far from his original view that Aristophanic Comedy was composed of loosely connected and foreign sources. Combining a close examination of the eleven extant plays of Aristophanes and a broad treatment of the relationship between tragedy and comedy, this book will continue to merit review as a robust study of the origins of ancient Greek comedy.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521182072
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 02/17/2011
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 266
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

1. Introductory; 2. The exodos; 3. The phallic songs; 4. Some types of dramatic fertility ritual; 5. Agon, sacrifice, and feast; 6. The chorus in Agon and Parabasis; 7. The impostor; 8. The stock masks of the old comedy; 9. Comedy and tragedy; Synopsis of the extant plays; Bibliography; Addenda; Index.

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