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Greek comedy flourished in the fifth and fourth centuries BC, both in and beyond Athens. Aristophanes and Menander are the best-known writers whose work is in part extant, but many other dramatists are known from surviving fragments of their plays. This sophisticated but accessible introduction explores the genre as a whole, integrating literary questions (such as characterisation, dramatic technique or diction) with contextual ones (for example audience response, festival context, interface with ritual or political frames). In addition, it also discusses relevant historical issues (political, socio-economic and legal) as well as the artistic and archaeological evidence. The result provides a unique panorama of this challenging area of Greek literature which will be of help to students at all levels and from a variety of disciplines but will also provide stimulus for further research.
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