To Deconstruct Comedy
Following Aristotle, writers and reviewers have elaborated on the short exposition of The Poetics taking different approaches. For Aristotle, a comedy has these features: it is the performance of a low level action which has magnitude; it is presented in a dramatic manner and is not narrated; it is presented by indicative language and different kinds of linguistic in the various parts of plot (Golden, 1984, p. 288). Regardless of these statements, Prescott (1929) suggests:
Aristotle represented ἄγνιοα the basis of the tragic plot… Similarly the commentary of Donatus explains the plot of comedy as depending upon mental error… [but] The only striking divergence is the absence of περιπέτεια in the technical terminology of the commentary; a reversal of action… It may of course be objected that if such a theory is rightly reconstructed from the scattered comments it may well be only a transference to comedy… history of literary criticism in ancient times often illustrates the way in which a theory, applicable to one literary type or period, is unwisely extended to cover another type or period. So, for instance, a plausible theory that described Old Comedy… unwisely extended to New Comedy... (p. 40)
The issues highlighted by Prescott in fact emphasize that each group of artistic pieces in any historical period can be analyzed, accurately, by examining their contemporary epistemic or aesthetical discourses. This fact is debated by Heath in Aristotelian Comedy as he argues that the contents of comedy should be turned from the ethical norms of routine social conventions. Therefore, it is necessary to distinguish between the universal ethics in Aristotelian sense of a comic plot, and universal ethics if such a thing...
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