Bauhaus-Universität Weimar

Titel:
A history of caricature and grotesque in literature and art
Person:
Wright, Thomas Fairholt, Frederick William
Persistente ID:
urn:nbn:de:gbv:wim2-g-1429385
PURL:
https://digitalesammlungen.uni-weimar.de/viewer/resolver?urn=urn:nbn:de:gbv:wim2-g-1430058
L 
in 
Literature 
and Art. 
II 
a very early period-earlier than we can trace back- and it formed the 
nucleus of the popular religion and fuperftitions, the cradle of poetry and 
the drama. The molt popular celebrations of the people Of Greece, were 
the Dionytiac feftivals, and the phallic rites and procetlions which accom- 
panied them, in which the chief actors affumed the difguife of fatyrs and 
fawns, covering themfelves with goat-thins, and disfiguring their faces by 
rubbing them over with the lees of wine. Thus, in the guife of noify 
bacchanals, they clifplayed an unrellrained licentioufnefs of gefture and 
language, uttering indecent jefts and abufive fpeeches, in which they 
fpared nobody. This portion of the ceremony was the efpecial attribute 
of a part of the performers, who accompanied the procefiion in waggons, 
and acted fomething like dramatic performances, in which they uttered an 
abundance of loote extempore fatire on thofe who paffed or who accom- 
panied the procetiion, a little in the ityle of the modern carnivals. It be- 
came thus the occafion for an unreftrained publication of coarfe pafquinades. 
In the time of Pilittratus, thefe performances are affumed to have been 
reduced to a little more order by an individual named Thefpis, who is 
{aid to have invented maths as a better difguife than dirty faces, and is 
looked upon as the father of the Grecian drama. There can be no 
doubt, indeed, that the drama arofe out of thefe popular ceremonies, and 
it long bore the unmifiakable marks of its origin. Even the name of 
tragedy has nothing tragic in its derivation, for it is formed from the 
Greek word tragos (mciyug), a goat, in the {kins of which animal the 
fatyrs clothed themfelves, and hence the name was given alfo to thofe who 
perfonated the fatyrs in the procefiions. A tmgodus (1-payqi56g) was the 
finger, whofe words accompanied the movements of a chorus of iatyrs, 
and the term tragodia was applied to his performance. In the fame 
manner, a co-modus (i:wpw36g) was one who accompanied Iimilarly, with 
chants of an abufive or fatirical character, a comus (mipog), or band of 
revellers, in the more riotous and licentious portion of the performances 
in the Bacchic feitivals. The Greek drama always betrayed its origin by 
the circumttance that the performances took place annually, only at the 
yearly feftivals in honour of Bacchus, of which in fact they conftituted 
a part. lMoreover, as the Greek drama became perfected, it {till retained 
from 
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