Female Personifications of Poetry in Old Comedy
This chapter explores the way in which the poets of Old Comedy — Cratinus and Pherecrates as well as Aristophanes — required actors to impersonate literary abstractions that were gendered feminine, such as Poetry and Comedy. The world-stage relationship took on an extremely concrete, vivid, and self-conscious form in a theatrical genre where actors playing ‘real’ members of the community, such as dramatists and other poets, abused other actors playing anthropomorphic feminine symbols of art. Poetic and theatrical innovations are visibly figured as sexual depravity and sexual violence.
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