Abstract

Aristophanes’s Thesmophoriazousai offers a complex engagement with transgender identity and practice. It explores up to seven different transgendered modes through a variety of motivations and audience response. While embracing fictional/dramatic performance, these modes are best understood within the larger social and cultural framework that the play directly and indirectly suggests. Perched, like much Old Comedy, on the horns of social conservatism and conceptual flexibility, but also acknowledging a broad transgender continuum, the play’s creative tension allows for it to be recuperated and re-used by queer audiences and readers.

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