full transcript

From the Ted Talk by Mark Robinson: Why is Aristophanes called "The Father of Comedy"?

Unscramble the Blue Letters

The word "comedy" comes from the Ancient Greek "komos," – revel, and "oide," – singing, and it differed from its companion art form, "tragedy" in many ways. Where ancient Athenian tgaeeidrs dlaet with the downfall of the high and mtihgy, their comedies usually ended happily. And where tragedy almost always borrowed stories from legend, comedy addressed current events. Aristophanes’ comedies celebrated ordinary people and attacked the powerful. His targets were arrogant politicians, war-mongering grenaels, and self-important intellectuals, exactly the pelpoe who sat in the fornt row of the theatre, where everyone could see their reactions. As a result, they were rrreeefd to as komoidoumenoi: "those made fun of in comedy." Aristophanes’ vicious and often obscene mockery held these leaders to account, testing their ctmmnieomt to the city.

Open Cloze

The word "comedy" comes from the Ancient Greek "komos," – revel, and "oide," – singing, and it differed from its companion art form, "tragedy" in many ways. Where ancient Athenian _________ _____ with the downfall of the high and ______, their comedies usually ended happily. And where tragedy almost always borrowed stories from legend, comedy addressed current events. Aristophanes’ comedies celebrated ordinary people and attacked the powerful. His targets were arrogant politicians, war-mongering ________, and self-important intellectuals, exactly the ______ who sat in the _____ row of the theatre, where everyone could see their reactions. As a result, they were ________ to as komoidoumenoi: "those made fun of in comedy." Aristophanes’ vicious and often obscene mockery held these leaders to account, testing their __________ to the city.

Solution

  1. tragedies
  2. commitment
  3. dealt
  4. people
  5. generals
  6. front
  7. referred
  8. mighty

Original Text

The word "comedy" comes from the Ancient Greek "komos," – revel, and "oide," – singing, and it differed from its companion art form, "tragedy" in many ways. Where ancient Athenian tragedies dealt with the downfall of the high and mighty, their comedies usually ended happily. And where tragedy almost always borrowed stories from legend, comedy addressed current events. Aristophanes’ comedies celebrated ordinary people and attacked the powerful. His targets were arrogant politicians, war-mongering generals, and self-important intellectuals, exactly the people who sat in the front row of the theatre, where everyone could see their reactions. As a result, they were referred to as komoidoumenoi: "those made fun of in comedy." Aristophanes’ vicious and often obscene mockery held these leaders to account, testing their commitment to the city.

Frequently Occurring Word Combinations

ngrams of length 2

collocation frequency
play called 2
peloponnesian war 2

Important Words

  1. account
  2. addressed
  3. ancient
  4. arrogant
  5. art
  6. athenian
  7. attacked
  8. borrowed
  9. celebrated
  10. city
  11. comedies
  12. comedy
  13. commitment
  14. companion
  15. current
  16. dealt
  17. differed
  18. downfall
  19. ended
  20. events
  21. form
  22. front
  23. fun
  24. generals
  25. greek
  26. happily
  27. held
  28. high
  29. intellectuals
  30. leaders
  31. legend
  32. mighty
  33. mockery
  34. obscene
  35. ordinary
  36. people
  37. politicians
  38. powerful
  39. reactions
  40. referred
  41. result
  42. revel
  43. row
  44. sat
  45. singing
  46. stories
  47. targets
  48. testing
  49. theatre
  50. tragedies
  51. tragedy
  52. vicious
  53. ways
  54. word