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date: 14 October 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter considers the similarities, differences, and points of engagement between the three main dramatic genres of classical Athens: comedy, tragedy, and satyr play. After an overview of the perceived absolute distinction between comedy and tragedy in Greek antiquity, the chapter goes on to outline the respective performance grammars of the two forms during the later fifth century. It then offers a survey of the variety of ways in which comedy engaged with tragedy, and tragedy and satyr play in turn showed an awareness of and interacted with comedy, during the same period. The discussion concludes with an outline of the shifting dynamics of comedy’s interaction with tragedy in the fourth century BC, when comic references to tragedy appear to have become largely restricted to the “classical” fifth-century plays.

Keywords: performance grammar, paratragedy, genre studies, satyr play, theater history, Aristophanes, Euripides, dramatic festivals, Great Dionysia

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