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ANCIENT GREEK MUSIC.                     77
The comedy chorus consisted of twenty-four members, who came on the stage in detachments of six each.
The comedy costumes of both actors and chorus were something like what we are accustomed to see in farce or pantomime; there was something comical and exaggerated about them, which occasioned mirth of itself. The masks were decidedly comic, and usually caricatured the coun­tenance of some public person well known to the audience. The comedy, especially in the older days that of Aristophanes sought to teach the people by holding up to ridicule, all such persons or measures as seemed to the poet worthy of cen­sure; therefore it dealt almost exclusively with the events of the day, and such characters as Alcibiades, Socrates, Cleon, etc., are constantly appearing, and in the most mirth-provoking manner.
It is a matter of regret, however, that Aris­tophanes wielded so much influence, for he brought it to bear against Socrates, whom he was narrow-minded enough to take as the representa­tive of Sophistry, and raised a popular feeling against him by his comedy of " The Clouds," in which he attributed the most interested motives to that grand philosopher.
It is unfortunate for Cleon that the caricatare of Aristophanes was accepted as a portrait, and he has come down to us only as the noisy impu­dent demagogue, as portrayed in " The Knights;" vet Cleon must have been a rough and sturdy






E-Book - An Annotated Compendium of Old Time American Songs by James Alverson III