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Spoudaiogeloion (Greek: σπουδαιογέλοιον) denotes the mixture of serious and comical elements stylistically. The word comes from the Greek σπουδαῖον spoudaion, "serious", and γελοῖον geloion, "comical". The concept (though not as a compound word yet) appears in Aristophanes's Frogs.[1]

Plato made extensive use of this tone in his Gorgias, Euthydemus, Republic, and Laws, and it is thematic in Xenophon's Symposium and the fourth book of his Memorabilia.

The serio-comic style became a rhetorical mainstay of the Cynics, and the Romans gave it its own genre in the form of satire, contributed to most notably by the poets Horace and Juvenal.


  1. ^ Ran.389: καὶ πολλὰ μὲν γελοῖά μ’ εἰπεῖν, πολλὰ δὲ σπουδαῖα