Fantasy in Old Comedy and Lucian
WithAnderson Graham
Pages 11

Fantasy appears to have been built into the comic tradition from the very outset. The use of animal choruses is reflected in titles such as Magnes’ Wasps and Frogs, long before the corresponding titles in Aristophanes; it continues in Crates’ Theria, where the chorus of beasts unsurprisingly advocates the vegetarianism of Pythagoras, and in Eupolis’ Aiges, also with a beast-chorus. One of the most obvious ‘measured miles’ use for comparing Lucian and Aristophanes as writers of fantasy is the Plutus and its imitation, Lucian’s Timon. The basic idea in both is that a way has been found to use the blindness of Wealth, seen as an allegorical figure capable of being bestowed indiscriminately. In some situations, have a sense that Aristophanes will go for brilliant spontaneity where Lucian will look for sophistication and refinement. A ‘statutory’ fantastic situation must arise, for example, when any character has to deal with Charon in crossing over to the Underworld.