Ancient Comedy (CLA3016)

30 credits

Comedy, like so much else, originated in the classical world; but what is it? How can comedy, as a dramatic genre, be defined and understood? How does ‘comedy’ (in our sense) relate to the Greeks’ komoidia or the Romans’ comoedia  How did ancient comedy relate to the society that produced it? How and why did comedy change over time? Can we still find ancient comedy funny?  How do we translate ancient jokes? In this module we attempt to answer these questions through close study of selected ancient comedies in the medium of English translation, including plays by Aristophanes, Menander, Plautus and Terence.