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Politics and Anti-Realism in Athenian Old Comedy – The Art of the Impossible - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Politics and Anti-Realism in Athenian Old Comedy: The Art of the Impossible

Ian Ruffell


The collision of politics and claims of political intervention with the fantastic, absurd and impossible is characteristic of the Athenian comic drama of the late fifth and early fourth century BCE, but has proved persistently problematic for critics. This book sets the impossible centre-stage and argues that comic impossibility should not be ignored in political readings or, conversely, used as a reason for excluding comedy from political interventions, but that anti-realism and the absurd are precisely the mechanisms through which this sort of comedy h ... More

Keywords: comedy, Aristophanes, humour, plot, metatheatre, parody, intertextuality, competition, semiotics, politics, satire, fictional worlds, impossibility, Athens, democracy

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2011 Print ISBN-13: 9780199587216
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199587216.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ian Ruffell, author
Lecturer in Classics, University of Glasgow.