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date: 20 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter sets out to recapture the generic variety of Old Comedy by examining three major comic poets of Aristophanes’s generation (Eupolis, Strattis, and Plato comicus) and their dramatic output in relation to his struggle to control his place in the comic canon. The chapter offers new readings of significant fragments of the extant oeuvre of these poets. Eupolis emerges as a “double” poetic personality: the heir to the stormy and pungent Cratinean mode, but also the generic innovator who causes comedy to reach the heights of the epic sublime. Strattis makes generic instability between comedy and tragedy a theme of his plots. The “inventor” of demagogue comedy, Plato comicus also dramatizes plot-crafting in ways that foreshadow the world of Plautine comedy.

Keywords: genre, Old Comedy, Aristophanes, Eupolis, Strattis, Plato comicus, canon, fragments, Cratinus, sublime, epic, tragedy, demagogue comedy, Plautus

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