Essay about Theme of Comedic Showmanship in Aristophanes' Plays

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Aristophanes was born presumably around 449 B.C. and died somewhere around 386 to 380 B.C. He wrote and producing his first comedy, The Banqueters, in 428 at the showpiece festival in the City of Dionysia. The following year Aristophanes won first prize with his play The Babylonians. This production however caused charges to be brought upon him by the politician Cleon for smearing the Athenian people and state. In all, Aristophanes was brought on charges twice, the second time for his play The Knights in which he again attacked the politician Cleon. In 405 Aristophanes was however publicly honored and crowned for promoting Athenian unity in his play The Frogs. Throughout his life Aristophanes wrote forty plays, eleven surviving to this …show more content…
Aristophanes was born presumably around 449 B.C. and died somewhere around 386 to 380 B.C. He wrote and producing his first comedy, The Banqueters, in 428 at the showpiece festival in the City of Dionysia. The following year Aristophanes won first prize with his play The Babylonians. This production however caused charges to be brought upon him by the politician Cleon for smearing the Athenian people and state. In all, Aristophanes was brought on charges twice, the second time for his play The Knights in which he again attacked the politician Cleon. In 405 Aristophanes was however publicly honored and crowned for promoting Athenian unity in his play The Frogs. Throughout his life Aristophanes wrote forty plays, eleven surviving to this day. A recurring theme in Aristophanes plays is one of comedic showmanship, in that he uses his plays as a stage to mock, slander, and critique prominent people and events in Athenian society and politics. The three productions focused on here are The Acharnians, The Clouds, and one of the most famous peace plays, Lysistrata. In The Acharnians the main theme is peace with the Spartans during the Peloponnesian War. Dikaiopolis is the protagonist in the play, his name literally translating to “Honest Citizen.” Dikaiopolis, along with Amphitheus, try to make their point known with the Assembly and convince them to seek an official peace. Dikaipolis however, after his freedom of speech is denied, acts without the will of the community (Assembly)
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