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Title: Satyrplay as Genre
Authors: Touyz, Paul
Advisors: Ford, Andrew
Contributors: Classics Department
Subjects: Classical literature
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: This dissertation traces the emergence of satyrplay as a genre. Arguing against the common story that satyrplay quickly fell into decline from the second half of the fifth century, and slipped into obscurity thereafter, I hope to demonstrate that satyrplay only gradually came to be treated independently, culminating with the introduction of a separate contest in satyrplay during the Hellenistic period. Where others have tended to overlook the evidence for satyrplay’s longevity, I contend that satyrplay, as a distinct genre, belongs very much to the postclassical world of the fourth century BC and beyond. Chapter 1 reexamines the generic status of satyrplay in fifth century Athens. Rather than assuming that tragedy and satyrplay were already distinct genres, I argue that the available evidence shows that satyrplay was treated as a fundamental part of the performance of the tragoidoi. In Chapter 2 I reexamine the evidence for decline in the fifth and fourth centuries BC. Building on the conclusions of the previous chapter, I argue that satyrplay’s decline was only apparent. Satyrplay continued to be performed as changes in theatre culture during the fifth century led to the increased popularity and prominence of tragedy and comedy. The separation of satyrplay from the tragic competition in the fourth century hardly spelled the end of satyrplay. Instead it established satyrplay for the first time as a separate type of performance. Chapter 3 proceeds to survey the evidence for the development of Hellenistic satyrplay, tracing the performance of satyrplay, its poets, and its actors from as far as Alexander’s camp on the Hydaspes, in modern Pakistan, to Alexandria, and possibly even to Rome. In Chapter 4, I set the overview from the previous chapter in context, by trying to determine some of the driving forces behind the expansion and development of satyrplay as a distinct competition. I argue that many of the traditional features of satyrplay - in particular its association with Dionysus and the central role of its definitive chorus - took on new meaning in the changing political and performative landscape of the fourth century BC andlater. In Chapter 5, I read of the fragments of postclassical satyrplay against the broader institutional and political background examined in the previous chapters. The core argument is that the fragments of postclassical satyrplay reflect the newly established independence of satyrplay in performance.
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Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Classics

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