Old Comedy vs. New Comedy Essay

1148 Words Feb 7th, 2011 5 Pages
Comedies were performed in the Great Dionysia just like tragedies; also comedies were entered in contests in other festival, known as the Lesser Dionysia, and it was celebrated in the winter. Comedies combined poetry with coarse language. For example they featured buffoonery, slapstick, obscenity, and horseplay. The comedy actors dressed in weird costumes that had paddled bellies or rumps for outrageous effects. “The comic playwrights made their own plots and they focused on important matters like: politics, philosophies, the new social class, and well-known personalities.” (Roy T. Matthews’s pg.70) The comic playwrights freedom could only exist in a democracy. Freedom was very limited for the comic playwrights. The comic …show more content…
The play was first premiered in 411 BCE, seven years before the Spartan won the Peloponnesian War. The play was criticized on but it failed to throw out the Athens’s tumbling rush to disaster. After the Peloponnesian War and the democracy being restored in 403 BCE, freedom of speech was disallowed in Athens. But comedies still trustee on the burlesque and slapstick, but their political edge was gone. The wonderful and creative Greek age theater was now down with. In the Hellenistic period, Greek comedy began to look like modern productions. The weird padding that was worn by the actors made them look like the costumes were real. The masks were remade to be look like the characters were portrayed; the actors assumed that they had a dominant status over the chorus. Comedy became a form of good and popular amusement, and the Hellenistic playwrights came up with a new genre called New Comedy. Its goal was to appeal to the pleasure of the audiences who were coming to the theaters. Dodging politics and casual gestures that were bad, the New Comedy presented funny scenes from the middle class life. Plays were mostly comic romances, and the endings were as predicted happy and the plays reflected the range of the Hellenistic style. The characters were knew the types drawn from the rich people of the Hellenistic community: “the courtesan, the grumpy old man, the slave, and the fawning

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