©Damen, 2021

Classical Drama and Theatre

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Like all of Cratinus' work, Pytine is now unfortunately lost. We do, however, know some things about this comedy. It was essentially an extended joke centering around the playwright's own bad habits—in particular, his alcoholism—which in the popular mind had accounted for a recent string of dramatic failures. Indeed, it was this very lapse on Cratinus' part that had, in part, allowed Aristophanes to rise to prominence at such an early age. But by 423 BCE, as he was nearing the end of his life and career, the clever old fox put the young pup to flight and returned to the stage triumphantly, at the Dionysia no less!

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