The Role of The Audience: Ideology, Identity,and Intensity

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:

Series: Oxford Classical Monographs

The Role of The Audience: Ideology, Identity,and Intensity

Show Summary Details


This chapter develops the study of comic self-reference by looking at direct and indirect address and manipulation of the audience. Arguing that the audience's role is a construct of the fiction, audience address and related, but less explicit, devices consolidate the audience as the male citizen body of Athens and construct a coherent audience position with which audience members can identify. Such explicit and implicit intervention extends the social and inclusive dimension of laughter. Identification of individuals and groups within the audience is limited and further consolidates group identity, while Dionysiac and festive dimensions of the impossible worlds of comedy, such as Akharnians, Frogs, and Eupolis' Poleis also serve to intensify the political atmosphere of the plays.

Keywords: audience address; metatheatre; self-reference; abuse; collectivity; fictional audience; Dionysos; festival; Akharnians; Frogs; Poleis

Chapter.  24734 words. 

Subjects: Classical Literature

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.