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Aristophanes and the Cloak of Comedy"Affect, Aesthetics, and the Canon"$
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Mario Telò

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780226309699

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226309729.001.0001

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Emotional Rescue and Generic Demotion: Old Comedians and Tragedy’s Ragged Audience

Emotional Rescue and Generic Demotion: Old Comedians and Tragedy’s Ragged Audience

Chapter:
(p.56) 3 Emotional Rescue and Generic Demotion: Old Comedians and Tragedy’s Ragged Audience
Source:
Aristophanes and the Cloak of Comedy
Author(s):

Mario Telò

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226309729.003.0003

This chapter reads the prologue of Aristophanes’ Wasps against Euripides’ Hippolytus—and later scenes involving the mad father Philocleon against the melancholic antics of Niobe and Bellerophon, two other characters from tragedy. Through these intertextual connections, the comic audience’s impure judgment in rejecting Clouds is attributed to the tragic psychology of Cratinus’s plays. While, through mimesis, Cratinean comedy’s ragged affective force, which has a textile analogue in Philocleon’s rough tribô‎n, estranges spectators from home and thus themselves, the warm Aristophanic chlaina, like the protective structure of home, does the opposite. Through this textile and architectural imagery, the paternal son Bdelycleon’s efforts to heal the tragic emotions of his father take on a canonical effect of closure, suggesting emotional, narrative, and generic binding.

Keywords:   Aristophanes, Clouds, Wasps, Cratinus, Euripides’ Hippolytus, Niobe, Bellerophon, tragedy, mimesis, affective

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