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Classics & Ancient History   >   Comic Drama in the Ancient World

The Political Context

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Comic Drama in the Ancient World

In this course, Professor John Wilkins (University of Exeter) explores comic drama in the ancient world, focusing on the similarities and difference between the plays of Aristophanes, Menander, Plautus and Terence. The course begins by thinking about the changing political context of each of the writers in question, before thinking about the basic plot structure that comic playwrights tended to work with. After that, we think about the purpose of obscenity in the plays of Aristophanes, before looking at how the comic playwrights engage with issues of gender. The final module focuses on Italian comedy, thinking in particular about the relationship between Greek and Roman culture more generally.

The Political Context

In this module, we think about the various political contexts that pertained for each of Aristophanes, Menander, and Plautus and Terence, and how this impacted the kind of comedies that each wrote.

Cite this Lecture

APA style

Wilkins, J. (2018, August 15). Comic Drama in the Ancient World - The Political Context [Video]. MASSOLIT.

MLA style

Wilkins, J. "Comic Drama in the Ancient World – The Political Context." MASSOLIT, uploaded by MASSOLIT, 15 Aug 2018,


Prof. John Wilkins

Prof. John Wilkins

Exeter University