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The Theatrical Cast of AthensInteractions between Ancient Greek Drama and Society$
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Edith Hall

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199298891

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199298891.001.0001

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Female Personifications of Poetry in Old Comedy

Female Personifications of Poetry in Old Comedy

(p.170) 6 Female Personifications of Poetry in Old Comedy
The Theatrical Cast of Athens


Oxford University Press

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.

Keywords:   Old Comedy, literary abstractions, sexual depravity, sexual violence, poets, Cratinus, Pherecrates, Aristophanes

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