[Milton-L] Adam's better half

Carrol Cox cbcox at ilstu.edu
Sun Aug 15 20:52:04 EDT 2010

Harold Skulsky wrote:
> Aristophanes tells the myth with a straight face, but (as with the Lysistrata and elsewhere in the corpus Aristophanicum) the playwright lodges sexuality squarely on the comic (anti-tragic?) side of the proscenium arch. Even when the partners are no less than Ares and Aphrodite herself, our shenanigans in bed evoke, as another older Greek poet says, "the inextinguishable laughter of the gods" (asbestos gelos theon).

It's been too long since I last reread the Iliad, and I may have this
all wrong. But as I remember, this laughter of the gods is part of the
clusters of imagery and incidents which established the superiority of
mortals to gods: because the gods cannot die, their actions become
pointless. Their inextinguishable laughter exhibits that pointlessness.


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