Aristophanes

Declan Wiseman
Mind Map by Declan Wiseman, updated more than 1 year ago
Declan Wiseman
Created by Declan Wiseman about 5 years ago
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Some basic biography and facts about Aristophanes

Resource summary

Aristophanes
  1. Athenian comic playwright
    1. He wrote about forty plays
      1. Comedy can exert pressure on public opinion and public policy
        1. A consistent slant on something represents own opinion of dramatist, encouraging audience to take it up
        2. It is the poets duty to make people into better citizens
        3. Lived c. 446 - c. 386 BC
          1. Peloponnesian War (431–404 bce)
            1. Between imperialist Athens and conservative Sparta
            2. Athens was at its height of power and fame
              1. Radical democracy, all adult male citzens had equal share in policy decisions
                1. All over-30's equal opportunity to take part in administration of justice
                2. Pericles
                  1. Athens fighting half of Greece and Persia, 3 continents
                    1. Peace of Greece=Athen's greatest sea-power, Sparta greatest land-power
                  2. 415, Athens invades Sicily, provoking Sparta
                    1. 413 Sicilian Expedition disaster
                      1. Alcibiades, Athenian general (exiled to Sparta for offences against religion) seized fortified base close to Athens, crisis forms background to Lysistrata
                      2. 411- Coup overthrow Athenian democracy
                        1. Regime- 'Four hundred' failed peace
                          1. Oligarchy 'Five thousand'
                            1. 410, more radical version of old democracy
                      3. Presented his plays at comedy competitions of the Lenaea and Dionysia festivals
                        1. Use of chorus, mime, and burlesque
                          1. Aristophanes lampooned the most important personalities and institutions of his day
                            1. Cleon, Hyperbolus, Cleophon
                              1. Prosecution threat 420's for attacks on Cleon
                            2. Immense, kaleidoscopic artistry
                              1. Inventiveness in word/image/structure/sound/sight
                                1. Denies him serious aims in political or social fields
                              2. Never openly opposes democracy
                                1. Ridicules features
                                  1. Use of mass juries dominated by elderly, poor
                                    1. Daily jury service payments waste of public money
                                    2. Accepts it as only political system available
                                    3. Is not always supportive of war, but voices Athenian pride in victories over Persians at Marathon 490, Salamis 480
                                      1. Ideal vision of Greek politics was Athens and Sparta ruling Greece together. Never happened.
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