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Rhetoric, Comedy, and the Violence of Language in Aristophanes' Clouds 1st Edition

ISBN-13: 978-0195070170
ISBN-10: 0195070178
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Editorial Reviews

Review


"[A] provocative new reading of Aristophanes' Clouds....O'Regan has studied Clouds very carefully, and future scholars will be indebted to her for many details of observation and analysis....Her treatment of the two Logoi is well-balanced and funny, perhaps the best I have seen."--American Journal of Philology


"Both illuminating and useful. Anyone who works on comedy or teaches the Clouds will welcome this thoughtful treatment of such an important and complicated comedy."--Bryn Mawr Classical Review


"This reading of the play is intelligent, perceptive, and very detailed, and should be consulted by everyone with an interest in Old Comedy."--Greece & Rome


"Perceptive....[An] intelligent study."--New England Classical Newsletter & Journal


From the Back Cover

This intelligent and thought-provoking reading of Aristophanes' Clouds focuses on logos, or the power of argument, and on the self-awareness of our second Clouds as a comedy of logos directed toward an audience made resistant by devotion to the body. Integrating the comical and philosophical agendas of the play and balancing rhetoric with comedy, O'Regan explores the Greek view of skillful speech as a kind of force and demonstrates the dramatic and thematic unity with which the Clouds challenges his conception. Discussing the differences between the play's first and second versions, O'Regan shows how the Clouds' comedy and its self-defined "history" tell the same story: onstage and off, speech is subordinate to human nature and desire. O'Regan's argument conveys much insight into fifth-century thought and the play's workings as well as placing the Clouds in the institutional and generic contexts of Athenian drama. Analyzing the role of the audience in the dynamic of the play and the impact of its comedy on the spectators, she argues that the Clouds is civic education, awakening personal reflections and contributing to the contemporary debate about democracy, language, and the city.
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