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Re-eroticizing the Hoopoe: Tereus in Aristophanes' Birds

Re-eroticizing the Hoopoe: Tereus in Aristophanes' Birds Abstract: In Aristophanes' Birds the character Tereus plays a pivotal role in persuading the bird chorus to hear Peisetairus' plan for founding a powerful bird-polis. One must ask how Peisetairus achieves his initial persuasion of Tereus, who has happily left behind the violent tyranny of his tragic role, to take on the gods and jeopardize his tranquility. Unlike Dobrov and others, who argue that the comic Tereus is a complete inversion of the tragic character from Sophocles' Tereus , I argue that Aristophanes depicts a comic Tereus who shows from the beginning latent tyrannical and, in particular, erotic qualities that Peisetairus exploits and who thus provides the bridge for erotic human beings to establish an imperial, aerial polis among the contentedly self-sufficient birds. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Syllecta Classica Department of Classics @ the University of Iowa

Re-eroticizing the Hoopoe: Tereus in Aristophanes' Birds

Syllecta Classica , Volume 22 (1) – May 16, 2011

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Department of Classics @ the University of Iowa
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Copyright © The University of Iowa
ISSN
2160-5157
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Abstract

Abstract: In Aristophanes' Birds the character Tereus plays a pivotal role in persuading the bird chorus to hear Peisetairus' plan for founding a powerful bird-polis. One must ask how Peisetairus achieves his initial persuasion of Tereus, who has happily left behind the violent tyranny of his tragic role, to take on the gods and jeopardize his tranquility. Unlike Dobrov and others, who argue that the comic Tereus is a complete inversion of the tragic character from Sophocles' Tereus , I argue that Aristophanes depicts a comic Tereus who shows from the beginning latent tyrannical and, in particular, erotic qualities that Peisetairus exploits and who thus provides the bridge for erotic human beings to establish an imperial, aerial polis among the contentedly self-sufficient birds.

Journal

Syllecta ClassicaDepartment of Classics @ the University of Iowa

Published: May 16, 2011

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