Rhetoric, Comedy, and the Violence of Language in Aristophanes' Clouds

By Daphne Elizabeth O'Regan | Go to book overview

NOTES

Introduction
1
For the aspects of the City (or Great) Dionysia mentioned here, see Pickard-Cambridge 57-101.
2
Redfield 318 aptly compares theatrical production to equipping a trireme; both were liturgies, public expenses borne by selected wealthy citizens. See Pickard-Cambridge 86ff.
3
Winkler suggests that the chorus was composed of ephebes, young citizens just beginning their military training.
4
The normal number of competing comedians was five; it may have dropped to three during parts of the Peloponnesian War. See Pickard-Cambridge83. For the parts and rites of the City Dionysia -- which included public processions, sacrifice, celebration, the tragic and dithyrambic competitions, announcement of civic honors, the parading in arms of war orphans raised at public expense, and exhibition of tribute from the allies -- see PickardCambridge59-70. For the regulatory role of the demos, see Henderson ( 1990) 286ff.; for the festival's promotion of social cohesion, see Longo14, 18; Redfield324.
5
Winkler 22. He states that "the layout of the auditorium formed (at least ideally) a kind of map of the civic corporation with all its tensions and balances," exemplifying the political and social structure of democratic Athens (38ff.). But, given the fact that at the City Dionysia the audience would probably have contained an unknown number of noncitizens, foreigners, metics, boys, and perhaps women and some slaves ( PickardCambridge 263ff.), the notion of a purely civic assembly may be a little too restricted. For some implications of this inclusive audience in assessing the impact of the plays, see Ober and Strauss.
6
For the well-known overlap between the demos seated in the theater and that which, as sovereign power in Athens, made the other political, legal, and dramatic decisions, see Ehrenberg20, 37, Henderson ( 1990) 275ff., Redfield318, and Ober and Strauss 238ff.
7
I shall translate logos variously as word, speech, account, reasoning, or shall transliterate it, letting the context determine the exact sense.
8
See Henderson ( 1990) 276, 286ff. who emphasizes the demos as "sponsor, spectator, and judge of agonistic performances in which the ambitious competitors make their appeals, and only the competitors are at risk." See also Goff 79ff. and Buxton 20ff. for the agonistic style in medicine, among other areas. For the ten judges chosen by lot from the names submitted by each tribe, five of whose votes, selected at random, determined the outcome of the comic contest, see Pickard-Cambridge 95ff. These judges were obviously intended to represent the citizens at large. In the Clouds the audience and the judges are addressed interchangeably. Likewise the audience could attempt to influence the judges; see Pickard-Cambridge97s.
9
This notion is parallel but not equivalent to Henderson's ( 1990) point that on the stage we see the "world of the spectators in their civic roles," complete with demos, competitors for its favor, debate and invective, decision, and outcome of decision (308). Comedy, or at least the Clouds, requires not just that we watch a representation of the civic world but that in so doing we use and refine skills required in other democratic fora.
10
See Henderson ( 1990) 271ff.

-141-

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