Choral Forms in Aristophanic Comedy: Musical Mimesis and Dramatic Performance in Classical Athens
This chapter is concerned with the ritual and cultic meaning of choral performances in the comedies of Aristophanes. Such choruses adapt traditional forms of melic poetry for the stage, mimic ritual addresses to the gods, and contribute indirectly to the celebration of Dionysus. But what of the authority of the choral voice? Unlike previous studies which have approached this question from the point of view of the comic parabasis, the chapter focuses on the exodoi, the final choral songs. These bring together poet, performers, and audience in a happy ending which anticipates the victory celebration in which all will participate. At the same time they also evoke the atmosphere of the Dionysiac cult in which the comic drama itself is one of the acts.
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