By Cedric H. Whitman
Regularly one is chary of claiming this type of factor a few serious paintings, although wonderful the writer; the extra one seems down the lengthy point of view of literary reports, the extra one feels how a lot of what we're susceptible to think about because the shattering discovery of our personal new release is absolutely the typical perception of the a long time, in a different way phrased to slot the style. yet Professor Whitman bargains whatever unattempted, as far as i do know, from antiquity to the current day, and that's an entire and systematic research of Aristophanes, now not as a resource for past due fifth-century background and antiquities, nor as a record within the background of drama, nor as a natural spring of Attic vocabulary and syntax, yet as a poet; a comic book poet.
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Additional resources for Aristophanes and the Comic Hero
4 9 One recalls also the parody of the Megarian decree, which was written, says the poet, "like a drinking song," by which he means a well-known scolion of Timocreon. 52 Indeed, Aristophanes' much admired lyrical genius must have been formed to no small degree by the traditional songs of the people. A closer study might reveal much more, but it is perhaps enough to have pointed here to the popular songs, with their everyday concerns of food, animals, kitchenware, slander, and sex, as having added sundry patches to the motley of the comic muse.
Apollo is allowed to recover his dignity, Hermes gives him the lyre, and the two become fast friends. Old Comedy is prone to less civilized solutions, of course, for hilarity dies down when everyone modifies his pretensions, exchanges apologies, and becomes good. What is striking about the Hymn is the reveling delight in a clever and wicked exploit, the delight in an overweening ponería which sets aside all decorum — not to mention the usual limitations of infancy — flouts morality incarnate in the name of its own will to supremacy, and wins its case, at least in good part, before Zeus and all readers.
15 Such a use of the word may seem peculiar to the special circumstances of this play, where Aristophanes, unwontedly savage in his invective, sees the progress of demagoguery as fatally doomed to lower and lower depths of abomination. But there are examples where poneros seems to lose its overtones of real evil and imply something more live "cleverness," for instance where Philocleon in the Wasps is prevented from leaving the house by clinging to the underside of the donkey, like Odysseus escaping from the Cyclops' cave.