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Detail, side A from a Silician red-figured calyx-krater (c. 350 BC – 340 BC).

Ancient Greek comedy was one of the final three principal dramatic forms in the theatre of classical Greece (the others being tragedy and the satyr play). Athenian comedy is conventionally divided into three periods, Old Comedy, Middle Comedy, and New Comedy. Old Comedy survives today largely in the form of the eleven surviving plays of Aristophanes, while Middle Comedy is largely lost, i.e. preserved only in relatively short fragments by authors such as Athenaeus of Naucratis. New Comedy is known primarily from the substantial papyrus fragments of Menander. The philosopher Aristotle wrote in his Poetics (c. 335 BC) that comedy is a representation of laughable people and involves some kind of blunder or ugliness which does not cause pain or disaster.<ref>Aristotle, Poetics, line 1449a: "Comedy, as we have said, is a representation of inferior people, not indeed in the full sense of the word bad, but the laughable is a species of the base or ugly. It consists in some blunder or ugliness that does not cause pain or disaster, an obvious example being the comic mask which is ugly and distorted but not painful."</ref> C. A. Trypanis wrote that comedy is the last of the great species of poetry Greece gave to the world.<ref>Cf. Trypanis, Greek Poetry from Homer to Seferis, Chapter 4, p. 201</ref>


Ancient Greek comedy sections
Intro  Periods  Dramatists  Poets of uncertain date  See also  Notes  Sources  Further reading  External links  

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Comedy::plays    Century::comic    Comedies::comedy    Greek::books    Their::middle    Menander::press

Detail, side A from a Silician red-figured calyx-krater (c. 350 BC – 340 BC).

Ancient Greek comedy was one of the final three principal dramatic forms in the theatre of classical Greece (the others being tragedy and the satyr play). Athenian comedy is conventionally divided into three periods, Old Comedy, Middle Comedy, and New Comedy. Old Comedy survives today largely in the form of the eleven surviving plays of Aristophanes, while Middle Comedy is largely lost, i.e. preserved only in relatively short fragments by authors such as Athenaeus of Naucratis. New Comedy is known primarily from the substantial papyrus fragments of Menander. The philosopher Aristotle wrote in his Poetics (c. 335 BC) that comedy is a representation of laughable people and involves some kind of blunder or ugliness which does not cause pain or disaster.<ref>Aristotle, Poetics, line 1449a: "Comedy, as we have said, is a representation of inferior people, not indeed in the full sense of the word bad, but the laughable is a species of the base or ugly. It consists in some blunder or ugliness that does not cause pain or disaster, an obvious example being the comic mask which is ugly and distorted but not painful."</ref> C. A. Trypanis wrote that comedy is the last of the great species of poetry Greece gave to the world.<ref>Cf. Trypanis, Greek Poetry from Homer to Seferis, Chapter 4, p. 201</ref>


Ancient Greek comedy sections
Intro  Periods  Dramatists  Poets of uncertain date  See also  Notes  Sources  Further reading  External links  

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: Periods
<<>>