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'Body and Mask in Aristophanic Performance'

Varakis-Martin, Angeliki (2010) 'Body and Mask in Aristophanic Performance'. Bulletin of the institute of classical studies, 53 (1). pp. 17-38. ISSN 2041-5370. (doi:10.1111/j.2041-5370.2010.00002.x) (KAR id:31518)

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In Greek comedy the masking of the head and dressing of the body was essential to effect a full transformation of the actor into a comic character. The body mask was as important as the head in its power to transform the actor into a different persona, suggesting that the comic characters' bodies were as significant as their heads in producing meaning and not a simple costume accessory.

In attempting to understand the function of the comic mask and body in ancient performance, this paper considers the similarities between the distorted bodies through a careful examination of a series of vase paintings and terracotta figurines. In doing so, it aims to show that the Aristophanic mask would not have been perceived by the audience as fixed to echo pre-determined meanings but changeable in accordance with the wider performance context. The spectators would thus have had the freedom to ‘recreate’ the characters anew, allowing their imagination to flourish in line with the participatory nature of the event and playful nature of the dramatic parts.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1111/j.2041-5370.2010.00002.x
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN2000 Dramatic representation. The theatre
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Arts
Depositing User: Angie Varakis-Martin
Date Deposited: 12 Oct 2012 09:04 UTC
Last Modified: 16 Nov 2021 10:09 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
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