Classics Essay on the Play Wasps

1699 Words Jul 11th, 2013 7 Pages
Literary Conventions
Classical authors draw on the literary techniques of their chosen genre to help them communicate their ideas.
Discuss the use of either symbolism or allusions to historical events/contemporary politics, in one literary text you have studied.
In your answer, you should: * Examine and interpret examples of the symbolism or allusions, as used by the writer * Evaluate the extent to which this literary technique helps reinforce the important themes of the literary work * Provide supporting evidence from the literary text you have written
Wasps, Aristophanes, symbolism, theme
Main Body One
Symbolism, how Cleon is portrayed
Main Body Two
P educated by B, symbolism of a new world. Old vs. new
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This contrasts significantly to Cleon, who ruled at the end of the Peloponnesian Wars, which Athens lost to Sparta. This difference is important because it shows two ends of the spectrum and how the Athens involvement in wars over the 5th century impacted greatly on Athenian society.
Aristophanes uses symbolism to portray the coming of the new age, with the younger society of Athens and that the downfall of society is because of the older society. For example, Bdelycleon explains to his father that Cleon is actually treating the jurymen as slaves and that even within the ‘elite’ group it is corrupt, “But what do you get out of it, apart from this absolute pittance? And even that they squeeze out like little drops of oil, just enough at a time to keep you going. They want you to be poor, and I'll tell you why: they're training you to know the hand that feeds you.” This shows the symbolism of the new leading the old into a new way of thinking, by not just thinking for themselves, but the idea that they should look at the big picture first, instead of prevailing to Cleon straight away. In contrast to the young’s analytical and logical way of thinking, the old have a slightly different view of the law system, Philocleon says, "As I pass, one slips his delicate hand into mine - the very hand that has dipped so deeply into the public funds. And they all bow down low, and plead with me in pitiful tones." Aristophanes is exampling the jurors and how they

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