Plato (playwright)

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Plato the comedy poet (also Plato the comedian , Latin Plato comicus ) was a contemporary of the famous philosopher of the same name who was around 20 years older and lived like him in Athens . He began his work as a playwright at the same time as Aristophanes (428 BC) and performed comedies under the Archon Philocles (391 BC). Plato is considered to be one of the more important representatives of the older Attic comedy . It is also associated with mean comedy by some literary historians.

Little is known about his personal circumstances. Allegedly, he also wrote comedies for other people, which the buyers, as legally acquired property, submitted under their own names to the dramatic competitions. This could indicate that Plato came from a humble background and was dependent on this income.

Some fragments and titles of Plato's comedies have survived. Fragments from his comedies Hyperbolos and Cleophon bear witness to the bitterness of his attacks on popular leaders, speakers and fellow poets of his time. At Athenaios alone there are citations from 23 of his comedies, of which he wrote (at least) 28. In the comedy Die Siege he made fun of Aristophanes' colossal goddess of peace in his peace . 405 BC BC Plato's Cleophon was defeated by Aristophanes ' frogs and Phrynichus ' muses in the public's favor. His play The Desolate had the desperate situation of the state as the subject.

In addition to political comedies, Plato also wrote literary ones , such as The Lacons or The Poets . The play The Sophists may have had a tendency similar to that of Aristophanes' Clouds . The play Der Bühnenapparat seems to have been a satire on the tragedies. In the garbage he took satirically the Schlemmer Myniskos, an actor of Aeschylus , before. The fragments that have survived do not give the slightest information about Die Greife , the only piece by Plato with a symbolic chorus. Myth comedies were: Adonis , Laios , Menelaos , Europe , Io . The play The Long Night referred to the night that Zeus , the father of the gods, spent near Alkmene . The title reveals little about the content of the play The Abused Zeus . A few fragments of the Phaon have survived , which show that this comedy had thematic parallels to Grillparzer's Sappho .



Overview display

  • Bernhard Zimmermann : Plato . In: Bernhard Zimmermann (Hrsg.): Handbook of Greek literature in antiquity. Volume 1: The literature of the archaic and classical times. CH Beck, Munich 2011, ISBN 978-3-406-57673-7 , pp. 752-756

Investigations and Comments

  • Peter Grimanis, Herbert Heftner: Plato comicus fr. 203 PCG VII (around 415 BC): Hyperbolus is ostracized despite his unworthiness (416 BC) . In: Peter Siewert (Ed.): Ostrakismos-Testimonien I (= Historia individual writings , No. 155). Franz Steiner, Stuttgart 2002, pp. 227-239.
  • Wolfgang Luppe : The comedian Plato and the Dionysia . In: Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik , No. 54, 1984, pp. 15-16.
  • Serena Pirrotta: Plato comicus. The fragmentary comedies. A comment . Berlin 2009
  • Ralph M. Rosen: Trouble in the Early Career of Plato Comicus. Another look at P. Oxy. 2737.44-51 (PCG III 2, 590) . In: Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik , No. 76, 1989, pp. 223–228 ( PDF, 188 kB ).
  • Peter Siewert : Plato comicus fr. 168 PCG VII (approx. 416 BC?): Comparison of the ostracism with the children's ostrakinda game (416 BC) . In: Peter Siewert (Ed.): Ostrakismos-Testimonien I (= Historia individual writings , No. 155). Franz Steiner, Stuttgart 2002, pp. 223-226.