Let's help each other.
Note, if I say 'clean' anywhere I mean cleon, that would be my iPads spellcheck kicking into action...
For the Virgil paper, in the essays apart from the commentary will you be quoting much?
Context goes hand in hand with the plays as Aristophanes is commenting on topical situations, do you have the penguin classics edition? If so, simply read each play's introduction. But personally I'd say it's only needed for old comedy because of the politics of the time that Aristophanes is satirising, notice how many references he makes to politicians, as an example: at the beginning of wasps where he makes fun of Alcibiades' lisp: "look, Theolus has tlansformed into a laven" or even the names of the two main characters Philocleon(lover of cleon) and anticleon/ (hater of cleon)
Read up about the delian league and Athens was a superpower at the time because of it's naval power. Also read up about demagogues and how cleon as a demagogue was able to gain power over the people via his speeches and activity in the law courts ( which you'd easily find by wikipeia-ing the plays)
Aristophanes preferred leaders such as Pericles who was in office before cleon, because he was rich and so wouldn't need to embezzle money from the other city states (the issue in wasps)
There's not much context to be known about pseudolos and old cantankerous as they are not based on political topics.
For comedy, realise the difference between the plays' use of slaves e.g. In old and new...in old they seem to be very much at the
Also the different use of the choruses in old and new: in aristophanes' plays (old comedy) the chorus act as a kind of persona for the poet. Allowing him to dispel the comic illusion and offer words of advice. For example, in wasps, in the 'parabasis' (technical term: when the chorus speaks directly to the audience)he teaches why the audience should not trust Cleon by describing him as a mythological monster, thereby not only presenting himself as an epic hero, but also enabling him to slag off Cleon whilst not directly doing it himself (it is his chorus-leader saying these things, so not Aristophanes himself - Aristophanes was once prosecuted by clean for the slander directed at him in one of his plays)
In frogs, you have the chorus leader stating why the audience should forgive those who took part in the oligarchical revolution under leaders such as Phrynicus because Athens needs the people to be unified against the Spartan threat. That's why you hear the constant reference to, 'the sea battle...' e.g the battle at arginusae where the slaves that took part where given automatic free status...but the Athenian generals were executed, a move Aristophanes mocks as stupid, clearly.
The use of chorus is more minimal in old cantankerous and psuedolos as both are examples of new comedy, the latter being roman new comedy (but still, roman new comedy is a copy of Greek new comedy as can be seen from the use of Greek names and the numerous references to the characters being in Athens)
That's just an example of the difference in the use of chorus
You need to see that whilst new comedy ie old cantankerous/dyskalos and pseudalos are 'feel good' comedies, in other words, they merely teach morality via comic plot and funny stories such as morals of friendship, love, forgiveness, asceticism etc; aristophanes' plays(old comedy) are political satires. He comments in both frogs and wasps what is wrong with Athens at the times the plays are being written.
This is kinda brief but just to point you in the right direction
Ah and as for comic techs, just focus on what makes them funny. I'd say the main ones are :
Sactterlogical language: stupid and base jokes like talking about needing to take a leak or something
Bathos: making something sound ridiculous, for example, in wasps, the use of dogs in a trial and talking cheese graters etc
Reductio ad absurdum: again just making things seem ridiculous, Dionysus does this solo much in frogs
Slapstick: physical comedy, laughing at pain - knemon falling down a well in old cantankerous, for example
Pun: play on words ( if that's not clear, google it)
Double entendre: saying something whilst meaning another
Visual humour: comedy at the appearance of something e.g. The way Dionysus tries to dress up as Hercules and only makes him break down in laughter
Satire: poking fun at topics/ people
There are more but I can't remember them of head so check out this list and get back to me for anything. Remember to check the OCR specification though...
I learned all my comic techs from here:
Now plz answer my question
Sorry I can't be more specific and type more but I'm typing on an iPad which is incredibly tedious and there's only so much I can say
Last edited by narusku; 08-06-2012 at 17:28.
Reason: I forget some stuff
Did the Wasps crab dance question and the one about comedy making people reflect on their society!
Crab dance bit was alright(ish), for the fantasy question I argued that frogs' reliance on fantasy makes it more comedic because the fantasy reinforces other comic techniques (i.e the setting = empusa, the corpse, hercules' puns etc) whereas in wasps the fantasy is fairly limited and is in most cases e.g the chorus' costume, explained.
For the second essay I argued again pro-Frogs and Wasps saying they are making people reflect on society most ebcause of their use of comedy reinforcing the political messages. Fact that Ari is essentially a satirist whilst Dyskolos was written under censor and Pesudolus was just pure entertainment thus, Frogs and Wasps' messages will always be more pronounced. Fact that whilst Dyskolos comments on morality/fam/poverty etc, these aren't as overt and obvious whereas the characters themselves e.g philocleon reflect satires/a comment on the nature of society and Ari has ENDLESS political jibes!
Last edited by linney; 13-06-2012 at 15:37.