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Satyr play
(738 words)

In Ancient Greece, a satyr play was originally a staged dance performed by actors costumed as satyrs (wild, lustful hybrid creatures). Aristotle in his Poetics (book 4) sees them as one of the three origins of tragedy (the others being Homeric epic and the dithyramb, a form of Dionysiac choral recitation). By the 5th century bce, the satyr play (Greek satyrikon drama) had developed alongside tragedy to become a dramatic form in its own right. Satyrs played central roles in it, turning familiar myths into coarse comedies, for instance, as Euripides’ Cyclops (5th century bce) does …

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Bremer, Kai, “Satyr play”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 03 June 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_026965>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20210601

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