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Satyric PlayThe Evolution of Greek Comedy and Satyr Drama$
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Carl Shaw

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199950942

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199950942.001.0001

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Sicilian Comedy and the Attic Satyr Play

Sicilian Comedy and the Attic Satyr Play

Chapter:
(p.56) Chapter 3 Sicilian Comedy and the Attic Satyr Play
Source:
Satyric Play
Author(s):

Carl A. Shaw

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199950942.003.0004

Prior to its formal introduction in Athens, comedy thrived in Sicily, but the fragmentary remains, specifically those of Epicharmus, resemble Middle Comedy more closely than Attic comedy of the fifth century. Scholars have tended to dismiss these generic similarities as coincidence, since the connections could not have been direct, but this chapter suggests that Athenian satyr drama bridges the gap between Doric and Middle Comedy. Epicharmean comic productions and Attic satyr play had a meaningful generic interrelationship, employing many of the same plots, themes, and characters (perhaps even a chorus of satyrs), as well as a similar comic style. Many comic poets of the early fourth century, adopting aspects from fifth-century satyr play, created a linear, though indirect, relationship to Sicilian comedy. Later biographers detect this relationship as well, establishing a vita for Epicharmus that includes a father named Tityrus, which in the Doric dialect means “satyr.”

Keywords:   Epicharmus, Sicilian Comedy, Satyr play, Middle Comedy

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