Middle Comedy

Middle Comedy

 

ancient Greek comedy of the fourth century B.C. Middle Comedy depicted everyday life and such common types as the cook, fishmonger, and parasite; it also parodied myths or the treatment of myths in tragedies. The names of about 50 authors of Middle Comedy plays are known, and fragments and titles of about 700 plays have been preserved.

REFERENCES

Istoriia grecheskoi literatury. Edited by S. I. Sobolevskii [et al.], vol. 1. Moscow-Leningrad, 1946.
Dunkin, P. S. Post-Aristophanic Comedy. Urbana, 111., 1946.
References in periodicals archive ?
In sections on epos, drama, empirical and imaginary chronotopes, and shifting chronotopes, they examine such aspects as calculating the mythical dimension: time and distance in Homeric navigation, Iris as messenger and her journey: speech in space and time, time traveling and space traveling in Greek middle comedy, mythological time and space in Ovid's exile poetry, and Carmenta in the Fasti: a tale of two feasts.
Finally, Andrew Hartwig focuses on Middle Comedy, analysing the change of plots over time: unlike tragedy, Old Comedy is not regarded as "golden", which gave space for comedy to develop without such long shadows being cast over it.
I do not intend to "bring owls to Athens" by arguing that Assemblywomen (Ecclesiazusae, 392/391 BCE) and Wealth (Ploutos, 388 BCE) introduce new elements which do not conform to the principal model of Old Comedy; rather they anticipate the poetic practices of Middle Comedy.
Middle comedy is concerned with private and not public business; it flourishes on stock scenes (rapes and recognitions, etc.
Already, recent scholarship on Middle Comedy has effectively disproved such notions of gross discontinuity between Old and New Comedy.
Hubbard 1991, 3 and 2003, 86-8, who likewise notes that the divide between Old and Middle Comedy has been exaggerated; he emphasizes their similar methods of ridiculing politicians for effeminacy and pathic behavior.
Aristophanes' dramatic activity covered the end of the period of Old Comedy and the start of the so-called Middle Comedy, with most of his surviving plays belonging to the period of Old Comedy.
The scathing social satires of Aristophanes were the best examples of Old Comedy, which declined after the defeat of Athens into Middle Comedy, of which there are no extant examples.
Could this trend in stagecraft explain, in part, the rise of Middle Comedy with its emphasis on stock characterization and dramatic monologues?
Preoccupied with social themes, Middle Comedy represented a transition from Old Comedy, which presented literary, political, and philosophical commentary interspersed with scurrilous personal invective, to New Comedy, with its gently satiric observation of contemporary Athenian society, especially domestic life.