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Aristophanes The Frogs Essay

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Aristophanes’ ‘The Frogs’ was first performed at the festival of Dionysus in 504BC, a year before the end of the Peloponnesian war, and was so well received it not only won the competition for comedy, but was also given an encore taking the form of a second performance in that same year. At the time of the plays performance Athens was run by an assembly of its citizens, in some ways comparable to a modern democracy, where any man who had completed two years of military service was able to vote. Politics therefore was an important part of Athenian life, with many young men studying the art of debating, something reflected in ‘The Frogs’ by its many references and illusions to political figures. It is hard to doubt that in his play Aristophanes intended to educate or inform his audience, especially considering the plays many allusions to the advisory role of poets. The objective of this essay therefore is not to answer the question ‘does Aristophanes inform, educate and entertain his audience in the frogs’ but to identify both where and how he does so, both linguistically and structurally. The problem with this however is that any talk about the…show more content…
In the parabasis the chorus leader exits the dance and, either partially or fully taking on the voice of the poet, addresses the audience directly. It is hard to doubt that in his inclusion of a parabasis Aristophanes intended to take on the advisory role of a poet. In his article ‘A lesson From Frogs” Geoffrey Arnott argued that Aristophanes used the parabasis in ‘Frogs’ to advocate for two different policies: the pardoning of those exiled after the oligarchic revolution of 411-10, and the formation of a ‘government led by the noblest families in Attica’ . Whether you agree or disagree with Arnott’s’ specific claims, it is clear that in his parabasis Aristophanes seeks to educate and inform his audience into having a certain political
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