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date: 05 December 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter gives a survey of Latin comedy from ca. 1400 to 1750. It starts with a pragmatic definition of “comedy” and the corpus of texts. Individual sections are then dedicated to: the prehistory of Neo-Latin comedy in the Middle Ages up to Petrarch’s lost Philologia; Italian humanist comedy; the transformation of humanist comedy into vernacular commedia erudita and the Latin retransformation of commedia erudita; adaptations of Italian humanist comedy north of the Alps between classicism and non-classical forms; education and religion as the driving forces behind Neo-Latin comedy; its plurality of forms and subjects; and finally, Jesuit comedy, its particular challenges for research, and its development through the ages up to the suppression of the Society of Jesus in 1773. A concluding section argues for the hybridity and innovativeness of Neo-Latin comedy against the comparatively more uniform background of both Neo-Latin tragedy and classical Roman comedy.

Keywords: Neo-Latin, drama, comedy, humanism, Renaissance, Jesuit theater, education, religion, hybridity, classicism and anti-classicism

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