That a strong relationship must have existed between Ben Jonson’s theatre works and Aristophanes’ plays is a long-standing scholarly commonplace. The question, however, has hardly ever been approached from a truly comparative perspective, taking into account the formal, structural, literary, and ideological peculiarities of both Aristophanic and Jonsonian drama. This book aims to address this issue with reference to an enlightening case study – metaperformance, a fundamental comic strategy that characterizes both authors.
Scenes of meta-performance frequently depict would-be poets, incompetent musicians, or treacherous intellectuals. But how do Aristophanes and Ben Jonson represent poetic, musical, and artistic performances within their own plays? At the crossroads of philology, reception studies, and comparative studies, this book will make a significant contribution towards a substantial re-evaluation of Ben Jonson’s classical reading and dramatic strategies.
Alessandro Grilli is Associate Professor of Classics and Comparative Literature at the University of Pisa. His research interests range from ancient drama (especially Aristophanic comedy) to the classical tradition, and extend to literary theory, applied rhetoric, film, gender and queer studies. His latest book was published in 2021 (Aristofane e i volti dell’eroe. Per una grammatica dell’eroismo comico, Pisa, ETS).
Francesco Morosi is a Post-doctoral Fellow at the University of Pisa. He studied at the Scuola Normale Superiore and the University of California – Berkeley. His main research interests are in the field of ancient Greek drama and its reception. He published chiefly about Aristophanic comedy and Aeschylean and Sophoclean tragedy.