Middle Comedy

Definition

Theater

  • One of the three periods of ancient Greek comedy. The termis applied in particular to Aristophanes's last two plays,Ecclesiazusae (Women in Parliament; 392 BC)and Plutus (Wealth; 388 BC), as well as toworks by his immediate successors in the early-to-mid 4th centuryBC. Middle Comedy dispensed with much of the festive exuberanceand bawdy revelry found in Old Comedy; there was less singingand dancing, plots became more complex, and the dramatic illusionmore sophisticated. Although plays of the Middle Comedy retained apolitical dimension, they showed a greater concern with personal andsocial issues, preparing the way for the shift to New Comedyin the middle of the 4th century.
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