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Cratinus and the Art of Comedy$
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Emmanuela Bakola

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780199569359

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199569359.001.0001

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Poetic Persona and Poetic Voice in Cratinus' Comedy

Poetic Persona and Poetic Voice in Cratinus' Comedy

(p.13) 1 Poetic Persona and Poetic Voice in Cratinus' Comedy
Cratinus and the Art of Comedy

Emmanuela Bakola (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Chapter 1 sheds light on Cratinus' poetic persona and its central role in his intertextual dialogue with his rivals, especially Aristophanes. Cratinus constructed his persona by taking his stand on his ‘Dionysiac poetics’, namely laying exclusive claim to genuine, natural, and flowing inspiration and creativity which had a special connection with Dionysus. In so doing he used techniques and strategies from earlier iambos and lyric poetry, and alluded to literary‐critical debates reflected by these genres. In positioning himself in relation to earlier models, Cratinus constructed himself as the ‘Archilochus’, but also as the ‘Aeschylus’ of comedy (fr. 342). The chapter goes on to show that poetic voice was much more extensively diffused in old comedy than a straightforward reading of extant Aristophanes might alone suggest. By discussing plays such as Boukoloi, Plutoi, Pytine, and Archilochoi, as well as Aristophanes' Frogs, it shows that Cratinus experimented with poetic voice, making it the heart of opening scenes and even of entire plays.

Keywords:   persona, voice, intertextual, rival, Dionysiac poetics, iambos, lyric, Archilochus, Aeschylus, 342, Pytine, Boukoloi, Archilochoi, Frogs

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