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La trygédie des Nuées

Abstract : The originality of Clouds, when seen against the backdrop of ancient comedy, lies chiefly in the way Aristophanes plays with the generic codes of Greek drama. This paper aims to examine this specificity of Clouds, and to redefine this play as a " trugodia ", a word that Aristophanes forged himself to institute comedy as a parallel and rival genre to tragedy. The initial discussion will highlight the removal of Dionysiac topics and atmosphere - usually a key element of ancient comedy - from the play. Attention will then be drawn to the unique nature of a plot, in which the comic hero is progressively disempowered, failing to achieve success at the end of the play, and eventually becoming the victim of the comic idea. Aristophanes borrows this reversal plot device from tragedy, and uses it to build an elaborate " denouement ", which blurs the boundaries of the genre, eludes the expectations of the spectators, and deprives them of comfortable, univocal and consensual laughter. Following the failure of the first version of the play, this ambiguous ending in which any kind of definite meaning is suspended, invites the audience to reflect upon its own capacities for understanding and self-awareness
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Contributor : Christine Mauduit <>
Submitted on : Thursday, January 24, 2013 - 3:31:40 PM
Last modification on : Friday, July 2, 2021 - 2:10:02 PM
Long-term archiving on: : Thursday, April 25, 2013 - 3:53:37 AM


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  • HAL Id : halshs-00780644, version 1



Christine Mauduit. La trygédie des Nuées. 2013. ⟨halshs-00780644⟩



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