When Gods Don't Appear: Divine Absence and Human Agency in Aristophanes

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
John Given (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
Web Site: http://www.ecu.edu/lib/

Abstract: Surprisingly few gods appear in the eleven surviving comedies of Aristophanes. This article examines what roles the gods do play when they are present. It further argues that humans with divine attributes often appear in lieu of the gods themselves. These humans together with the handful of gods who are present fall into the broad functional categories of helpers and opponents of the comic protagonist. Thee gods' absence is to be attributed to an Aristophanic conception of human agency, namely that humans in comedy, especially when compared to tragedy, have extraordinary control of their lives. A god's presence would be too great a threat to comic inventiveness.

Additional Information

Given, John. When Gods Don’t Appear: Divine Absence and Human Agency in Aristophanes." Classical World 102.2 (2009): 107-127."
Date: 2009
Gods, Greek Comedy, Aristophanes

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When Gods Don't Appear: Divine Absence and Human Agency in Aristophaneshttp://thescholarship.ecu.edu/bitstream/handle/10342/1073/Absent Gods--CW Proofs 2.pdfThe described resource references, cites, or otherwise points to the related resource.