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Humanist Comic Elements in Aristophanes and the Old Testament


Lazarus compares and discusses comic elements used for didactic purposes in two separate literary traditions: Old Testament narrative and Aristophanic Comedies. Given that humour relies on taking people's ideas of what is normal and making them incongruous, this volume examines these very different texts to see how they use that comic incongruity to help define what it means to be human within the hierarchy of the universe.
Publisher: Gorgias Press LLC
Availability: In stock
SKU (ISBN): 978-1-4632-0243-9
  • *
Publication Status: In Print

Publication Date: Dec 16,2014
Interior Color: Black
Trim Size: 6 x 9
Page Count: 317
Language: English
ISBN: 978-1-4632-0243-9
$191.82
$115.09

The use of comic elements in story-telling and literature is not simply the provenance of one particular culture, but is instead as much a natural and recurring technique as having stories about death, sex, and wonder. Lazarus compares and discusses comic elements used for didactic purposes in two separate literary traditions: Old Testament narrative and Aristophanic Comedies.

Aristophanic Old Comedy and Old Testament narratives come from two completely different traditions of ancient literature, from very different cultures, but both make use of humour to define what it means to be human within the hierarchy of the universe. Each chapter analyses one example of comic elements in an Old Testament story, together with one Aristophanic play: Numbers 22 (the story of Balaam and his ass) and Peace, the life of Samson in the book of Judges and Birds, Jonah and Frogs, and Tobit and Wealth.

The use of comic elements in story-telling and literature is not simply the provenance of one particular culture, but is instead as much a natural and recurring technique as having stories about death, sex, and wonder. Lazarus compares and discusses comic elements used for didactic purposes in two separate literary traditions: Old Testament narrative and Aristophanic Comedies.

Aristophanic Old Comedy and Old Testament narratives come from two completely different traditions of ancient literature, from very different cultures, but both make use of humour to define what it means to be human within the hierarchy of the universe. Each chapter analyses one example of comic elements in an Old Testament story, together with one Aristophanic play: Numbers 22 (the story of Balaam and his ass) and Peace, the life of Samson in the book of Judges and Birds, Jonah and Frogs, and Tobit and Wealth.

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Contributor

Benjamin Lazarus

  • Table of Contents (page 5)
  • Acknowledgments (page 7)
  • Introduction (page 11)
  • Comic Theory and the Old Testament (page 15)
    • A brief digression on humour in other cultures (page 25)
    • An example of a reaction to comic incongruity in the Old Testament (page 27)
  • Chapter 1: Balaam and Peace (page 33)
    • What is the Status Quo of reality in the Bible? (page 33)
    • Comic Elements in the Aristophanic World (page 48)
    • Aristophanes' Peace (page 62)
    • On the Comparison of Literature (page 79)
    • Of Donkeys and Dung Beetles (page 83)
  • Chapter 2: Birds and Samson (page 97)
    • Worlds and Words of Air in Aristophes' Birds (page 97)
    • Samson and the strength of the comic (page 119)
    • The Self-Involvement of Successful Comic Characters (page 139)
  • Chapter 3: Frogs and Jonah (page 153)
    • Dionysos Goes Downwards in Aristophanes' Frogs (page 153)
    • Strange Creatures in Jonah (page 180)
    • The Sinking Failure of Jonah and Frogs (page 202)
  • Chapter 4: Tobit and Wealth (page 219)
    • Tobit and the absurdity of suffering (page 219)
    • Wealth Or Why Do Good Things Happen to Bad People? (page 239)
    • The Ordinary Cure for Blind Injustice in Tobit and Wealth (page 261)
  • Conclusion (page 283)
  • Bibliography (page 289)
  • Index (page 311)
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