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4. Types of Comedy [Full Lecture]

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About this Lecture


Aristophanes was a playwright that demonstrated a great variety in his comedy, and his eleven surviving plays include everything from high political satire to obscene language and toilet humour. In this module, we trace the different kinds of comedy found in Aristophanes, which we have divided into nine distinct types - all of which are discussed in this lecture.


In this course, Prof. Edith Hall (King's College, London) provides an introduction to the plays of Aristophanes, thinking in particular about the world that Aristophanes lived in and his comic output and focusing in particular on: the link between comedy and democracy, the distinctiveness of Aristophanes as compared to other comic playwrights writing at the same time, the theatrical elements of Old Comedy (music, choreography, costume, etc.), the types of comedy that one finds in the plays themselves, and - finally – the play-world of Aristophanes’ comedies.


Since being awarded the Hellenic Foundation Prize for her Oxford doctorate (1988), Edith has held posts at Cambridge, Oxford, Durham and London Universities. She has published twenty books. She is Co-Founder and Consultant Director of the Archive of Performances of Greek & Roman Drama at Oxford and Chairman of the Gilbert Murray Trust. She has won funding for research from the AHRB, the AHRC, the Leverhulme Trust, the British Academy, the Center for Hellenic Studies in Washington, and has just been awarded a Humboldt Research Prize. She appears regularly on BBC Radio, and has acted as consultant to professional productions of ancient drama at the Royal Shakespeare Company, the National Theatre, Northern Broadsides, Theaterkombinat and other professional companies.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Hall, E. (2018, August 15). Aristophanes - Types of Comedy [Full Lecture] [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Hall, Edith. "Aristophanes – Types of Comedy [Full Lecture]." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,