Homer Hesiod Hymns Tragedy Remythologizing Tools Blackboard Info
ARISTOPHANES
The comedian, who lived at Athens, B.C. 444-388. His father Philippus is said to have been not a native Athenian, but a settler from Rhodes or Egypt, who afterwards acquired the citizenship. However this may be, the demagogue Cleon, whose displeasure Aristophanes had incurred, tried to call in question his right to the citizenship. His first comedy came out in B.C. 427, but was not performed under his own name because of his youth; and several more of his plays were brought on the stage by Callistratus and Philonides, till in 424 he brought out the Knights in his own person. Forty-four of his plays were known in antiquity, though four of them were considered doubtful. Of these we possess eleven, the only complete Greek comedies which have survived, besides the titles, and numerous fragments, of twenty-six others. The eleven are: (1) The Acharnians, which gained him the victory over Cratinus and Eupolis B.C. 425, written during the great Peloponnesian war to induce the Athonians to make peace. (2) The Knights mentioned above, B.C. 424, also crowned with the first prize, and aimed directly against Cleon. (3) The Clouds, B.C. 423, his most famous and, in his own opinion his most successful piece, though when played it only won the third prize. We have it on] y in a second, and apparently unfinished, edition. It is directed against the pernicious influence of the Sophists, as the representative of whom Socrates is attacked. (4) The Wasps, brought out in B.C. 422 and, like the two following, rewarded with the second prize; it is a satire upon the Athenian passion for lawsuits, (5) The Peace, of the year B.C. 421, recommending the conclusion of peace. (6) The Birds, acted in B.C. 414, and exposing the romantic hopes built on the expedition to Sicily. This is unquestionably the happiest production of the poet's genius, and is marked by a careful reserve in the employment of dramatic resource. (7) The Lysistrate, B.C. 411, a Women's Conspiracy to bring about peace; the last of the strictly political plays. (8) Thesmophoriazusae, probably to be dated 410 B.C. It is written against Euripides dislike of women, for which the women who are celebrating the Thesmophoria drag him to justice. (9) The Frogs, which was acted in 405, and won the first prize. It is a piece sparkling with genius, on the Decay of Tragic Art, the blame of which is laid on Euripides, then recently deceased. (10) Ecclesiazusae, or The National Assembly of Women, B.C. 392. It is levelled against the vain attempts to restore the Athenian state by cut-and-dried constitutions. (11) Plutus, or the God of Wealth. The blind god is restored to sight, and better times are brought about. This play was acted first in 408, then in 388 in a revised form suitable to the time, and dispensing with chorus and parabasis. This play marks the transition to the Middle Comedy. In the opinion of the ancients Aristophanes holds a middle place between Cratinus and Eupolis, being neither so rough as the former nor so sweet as the latter, but combining the severity of the one with the grace of the other. What was thought of him in his own time is evident from Plato's Symposium, where be is numbered among the noblest of men; and an epigram attributed to that philosopher says that the Graces, looking for an enduring shrine, found it in the soul of Aristophanes. He unites understanding, feeling, and fancy in a degree possessed by few poets of antiquity. His keen glance penetrates the many evils of his time and their most hidden causes; his scorn for all that is base, and his patriotic spirit, burning to bring back the brave days of Marathon, urge him on, without respect of persons or regard for self, to drag the faults he sees into daylight, and lash them with stinging sarcasm; while his inexhaustible fancy invents ever new and original materials, which he manipulates with perfect mastery of language and technical skill. If his jokes are often coarse and actually indecent, the fact must be imputed to the character of the Old Comedy and the licentiousness of the Dionysiac festival, during which the plays were acted. No literature has anything to compare with these comedies. Ancient scholars, recognising their great importance, bestowed infinite pains in commenting on them, and valuable relics of their writings are enshrined in the existing collections of Scholia.
Query:
Type: Standard
SoundEx
Results:
  
gutter splint
gutter splint
PLACE HOLDER FOR COUNTER
gutter splint