Tuesday, March 08, 2016

Menander and Aristotle

I came across an interesting article, by Masahiro Kitano, on Aristotle's Theory of Comedy. The part that really interested me was this bit of speculation:

"Menander, as a student of the Peripatetic school, might have known Aristotelian Poetics, including the lost book. Menanderian comedy might well have constituted an answer to the Aristotelian censure of the comic genre in earlier period." (PDF)

Menander was a major innovator in Ancient Greek comedy. He's one of the guys who led the way with "new comedy" in the world of ancient comedy, which you can see as directly influencing most of the comedies we watch today.

I'd had no idea he might be influenced directly by Aristotle, but his Wikipedia article does say he was a friend of Aristotle's successor, Theophrastus, so maybe there is something to this hypothesis.

It's funny that scholars call it "new"
since that's strictly an ancient view.

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