Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The father of comedy

It is times like these, late in the week leading up to finals, that the work of archetypes such as Aristonphanes can be fully appreciated. As we all know, we laugh to keep from crying, and based on my outlook for the next few days, I could definitely use a few good laughs. I decided I may as well start by writing a blog about the original comic, Aristophanes. According to wikipedia, it was said that Aristophanes could re-create the life of Athens more convincingly than any other author. This really makes me wonder about the type of society that Aristophanes was so "accurately" describing... especially if Lysistrata is included within this accuracy.

As obscene as Lysistrata seems to a 21st century reader used to the boy-girl cheesey romance comedies, it also sheds a new light on the culture of ancient Greece as a whole. Before this class, my perception of classical literature was that it was old, boring and inaccessible. However, this couldn't have been further from the truth. The fact that such a vulgar and opinionated work could exist more than two thousand years shows the considerably progressive nature of the Greeks. Reading Lysistrata, it hardly seems possible that such a story could have been created at all, let alone thousands of years ago. Although I'm sure some of the meaning was lost in the translation process, I feel that Sarah Ruden did a commendable job capturing the essence of the intended meanings implicit throughout the play.

Ah, a little refresher course through Lysistrata was actually all I needed. Reading over it a second time, I found myself laughing more frequently than the first time. This could be a result of a greater comprehension, or more likely the result of the sleep deprivation. Either way, I have to say, I owe a great deal of gratitude to Aristophanes. If it weren't for comedy, life would be absolutely tedious. If there were no laughing to get us all through the day, we would cry more frequently to say the least. Humor is the basis of almost every single one of my friendships. I think that if I had to take life seriously, I would go crazy. So here's to aristophanes.

No comments:

Post a Comment