Chapter

Comic Networks: Story and Argument

I. A. Ruffell

in Politics and Anti-Realism in Athenian Old Comedy

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199587216
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731297 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199587216.003.0005

Series: Oxford Classical Monographs

Comic Networks: Story and Argument

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Building on the analysis of the joke and of comic plot, this chapter addresses the limitations of conventional accounts of comic structure, in metrical, functional, structuralist, and realist terms, most of which embed implicit claims about comic argument. Instead comic argument and comic structure should be seen as developing out of the jokes that motivate comic plot. Comic argument, on this model, resides not directly in the plan of the comic protagonist (where they exist), but in the concepts which provide motivation for and are reinforced and developed by jokes and plots, and which are in turn agglomerated into larger concepts, categories and networks. Studies of Akharnians and Knights show how anti-realist and absurd plots strengthen rather than weaken this type of argument.

Keywords: argument; structure; concept; category; network; Zielinski; Propp; Akharnians; Knights

Chapter.  26622 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical Literature

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