This book follows the progress of the Greek parasite figure through his various interpretations by different poets as evidenced in the remaining fragments. On the Roman stage of Plautus, the parasite became a key comic figure in proceedings, later replaced by the wily slave. In medieval comedy, he can be seen as the vice of morality plays; in mummers' plays, he emerged as a type in early Tudor theatre; on the Elizabethan and Jacobean stage, the chancing rascal was a frequent feature, most notably Falstaff; throughout the Restoration, dissipated gallants and workshy fops became well-established characters and their behavior reached the outer limits of the bawdy; in 18th century sentimental comedy, a modified fascination with such roguery, ageing dandyism and peripheral scavengers remained. It is suitable for rogues, idlers, skivers, flatterers and the work-shy: all chisellers.
Dr. Chris Ritchie is the course leader of the Comedy: Writing & Performance degree program at Southampton Solent University.
List of Illustrations; Preface by Dr. Oliver Double; Acknowledgements; 1 Introduction; 2 Greek Parasites; 3 Roman Parasites; 4 Fools and Vices; 5 Commedia dell'Arte; 6 Rogues and Cross-biters; 7 Jacobean City Comedy; 8 Rakes and Fops; 9 Mohocks; 10 Macaroni's; Bibliography; Index.