By Gwendolyn Compton-Engle
This ebook deals an interpretation of the dealing with of dress within the performs of the fifth-century comedian poet Aristophanes. Drawing on either textual and fabric facts from the fourth- and fifth-century Greek global, it examines 3 layers of dress: the bodysuit worn by way of the actors, the characters' outfits, and the extra layering of conceal. A bankruptcy can also be dedicated to the artistic costumes of the comedian refrain. Going past describing what costumes gave the look of, the booklet focuses in its place at the dynamics of gown because it is manipulated via characters within the functionality of performs. The booklet argues that dress is used competitively, as characters deal with every one other's costumes and poets vie for prestige utilizing gown. This argument is knowledgeable by way of functionality reports and by means of analyses of gender and the physique.
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35 To be comic is to be both grotesque and artificial; the two are inextricably linked and equally indicative of the comic genre. Scholarship on the (male) comic body has focused primarily on its relationship to the notion of the ideal Athenian citizen. 36 Helene Foley has modified his view, noting that these grotesque characters nevertheless frequently claim to be citizens and to represent the interests of citizens. ”37 Foley’s argument emphasizes the distancing power of the costume’s patent artificiality, a feature that surely made it possible for actual male citizens to play these roles without shame.
Photograph © The State Hermitage Museum. Photo by Leonard Kheifets,Yuri Molodkovets. 65 On a Campanian bell-krater dated to c. 67 In both of these cases, the female figure is unmasked, clothed in a normal robe without somation, and of nongrotesque proportions, as in Figure 14. 68 Lest we think that this is only a southern Italian phenomenon, the Attic relief discussed earlier (Figure 3) seems to depict an auletris with a comic chorus, although the upper body and face have not survived. These auletrides suggest at least the possibility that nonspeaking performer roles were represented onstage in quite The Comic B ody as Costume a different manner from the grotesquely shaped speaking characters who sport obvious layers of costume.
This chapter examines the comic body costume from four points of view: first, the contributions of the visual record to our understanding of the body as staged in comic performances; second, some common patterns of bodily manipulation in Aristophanes; third, the comic body as figure of gluttony and outrageous demagoguery in Knights; fourth, the thematic interweaving of body and textiles in Lysistrata. 16 The Comic B ody as Costume Envisioning the Comic Body The Male Comic Body The male comic body as depicted in the visual record of the late fifth through mid-fourth century is both grotesque and manifestly artificial.