This paper examines the role of the generation gap in Aristophanes' construction of his persona throughout Wasps, Clouds, and Peace. It contends that in Wasps and Clouds Aristophanes defines the relationship with his audience and his rivals by presenting himself as the figure of a paternal son. The same stance shapes the comic poet's generic self-positioning in the initial scene of Peace, where the parody of Euripides' Aeolus and Bellerophon evinces a corrective attitude in relation not only to the troubled images of fatherhood offered in the two tragic plays, but also to Aristophanes' unsuccessful performances as a paternal son in his earlier comedies. Euripidean intertextuality thus serves as a discursive medium through which Aristophanes dramatizes the turning points of his poetic autobiography.
Embodying the Tragic Father(s): Autobiography and Intertextuality in Aristophanes
Earlier versions of this article have been presented at Yale, UCLA, Princeton, Chicago, Roma Tor Vergata, and at the Celtic Conference in Classics (University College, Cork, July 9–12, 2008). I am grateful to all my audiences for comments and criticism. I also wish to thank the anonymous referees of Classical Antiquity and Mark Griffith, as well as various friends and colleagues who read different drafts of the paper and offered invaluable suggestions: Ann Bergren, David Blank, John Gibert, Kathryn Morgan, Glenn Most, Kirk Ormand, Lucia Prauscello, Alex Purves, Ralph Rosen, and Seth Schein (specific debts are acknowledged in the relevant footnotes). Special thanks also to Alex Press.
- Views Icon Views
- PDF LinkPDF
- Share Icon Share
- Tools Icon Tools
- Search Site
Mario Telò; Embodying the Tragic Father(s): Autobiography and Intertextuality in Aristophanes. Classical Antiquity 1 October 2010; 29 (2): 278–326. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/CA.2010.29.2.278
Download citation file: