Talking about Laughter: And Other Studies in Greek Comedy

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This book brings together fourteen studies by Alan Sommerstein on Aristophanes and his fellow comic dramatists, some of which have not previously appeared in print. The studies cover almost all the major topics of Sommerstein's work - the nature and functions of comedy in Aristophanes' time, its connections with the society and politics of its day, the question of Aristophanes' own political stances, the light comedy can throw on classical Athenians' perception of basic social divisions (age, gender, citizen/alien, free/slave), comedy's exploitation of the expressive resources of the Greek language, the composition and production history of individual plays, and the history of the genre as a whole.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Talking About Laughter is a must-read for specialists, but it also has much to offer non-specialists and both graduate and advanced undergraduate students: these are original works of scholarship that wear their great learning lightly, that are lucidly and engagingly written, and that illuminate important topics with cogency, imagination, and flair." —Classical World
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199554195
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/5/2009
  • Pages: 360
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Alan H. Sommerstein is Professor of Greek at the University of Nottingham.

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Table of Contents

1. The language of Athenian women
2. The naming of women in Greek and Roman comedy
3. The anatomy of euphemism in Aristophanic comedy
4. Talking about laughter in Aristophanes
5. Old Comedians on Old Comedy
6. Slave and citizen in Aristophanic comedy
7. Monsters, ogres and demons in Old Comedy
8. The silence of Strepsiades and the agon of the first Clouds
9. Response to Niall Slater
10. An alternative democracy and an alternative to democracy in Aristophanic comedy
11. Lysistrata the warrior
12. Nudity, obscenity and power: modes of female assertiveness in Aristophanes
13. Kleophon and the restaging of Frogs
14. Platonios 29-31 and 46-52 Koster: Aristophanes' Aiolosikon, Kratinos' Odyssês and Middle Comedy

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