Comedy dating

Periods[ edit ] The Alexandrine grammarians , and most likely Aristophanes of Byzantium in particular, seem to have been the first to divide Greek comedy into what became the canonical three periods: These divisions appear to be largely arbitrary, and ancient comedy almost certainly developed constantly over the years. Born in B. Aristophanes lampooned the most important personalities and institutions of his day, as can be seen, for example, in his buffoonish portrayal of Socrates in The Clouds , and in his racy anti-war farce Lysistrata.

He was one of a large number[ clarification needed ] of comic poets working in Athens in the late 5th century, his most important contemporary rivals being Hermippus and Eupolis. In particular, they copied the technique of disguising a political attack as buffoonery. For ancient scholars, the term may have meant little more than "later than Aristophanes and his contemporaries, but earlier than Menander ". Middle Comedy is generally seen as differing from Old Comedy in three essential particulars: For at least a time, mythological burlesque was popular among the Middle Comic poets.

Stock characters of all sorts also emerge: Because no complete Middle Comic plays have been preserved, it is impossible to offer any real assessment of their literary value or "genius". But many Middle Comic plays appear to have been revived in Sicily and Magna Graecia in this period, suggesting that they had considerable widespread literary and social influence.

New Comedy nea [ edit ] Figurine of an actor wearing the mask of a bald-headed man, 2nd century BC. The playwrights of the New Comedy genre built on the legacy from their predecessors, but adapted it to the portrayal of everyday life, rather than of public affairs.

His plays were also much less satirical than preceding comedies, being marked by a gentle, urbane tone, [13] a taste for good temper and good manners if not necessarily for good morals. The most substantially preserved text is the Dyskolos "Difficult Man, Grouch" by Menander, discovered on a papyrus, and first published in Influence[ edit ] Horace claimed Menander as a model for his own gentle brand of Roman satire.

Where in comedies of previous generations there were choral interludes, there was dialogue with song. The action of his plays had breaks, the situations in them were conventional and coincidences were convenient, thus showing the smooth and effective development of his plays.

Much of contemporary romantic and situational comedy descends from the New Comedy sensibility, in particular generational comedies such as All in the Family and Meet the Parents.


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