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Ritual and Performativity: The Chorus in Old Comedy

Ritual and Performativity: The Chorus in Old Comedy


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In this groundbreaking study, Anton Bierl uses recent approaches in literary and cultural studies to investigate the chorus of Old Comedy. After an extensive theoretical introduction that also serves as a general introduction to the dramatic chorus from the comic vantage point, a close reading of Aristophanes' Thesmophoriazusae shows that ritual is indeed present in both the micro- and macrostructure of Attic comedy, not as a fossilized remnant of the origins of the genre but as part of a still existing performative choral culture. The chorus members do play a role within the dramatic plot, but they simultaneously refer to their own performance in the here and now and to their function as participants in a ritual. Bierl's investigation also includes an unparalleled treatment of the phallic songs preserved by Semos.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780674023734
Publisher: Harvard
Publication date: 12/19/2009
Series: Hellenic Studies Series , #20
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 422
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.86(d)

About the Author

Anton Bierl is Professor of Greek Philology at the University of Basel.

Alexander Hollmann is Assistant Professor of the Classics at the University of Washington.

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