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Aristophanes Voices Concerns For Ancient Greek Culture In His Plays

2159 words - 9 pages

Aristophanes was not a proponent of the majority of Athenian culture, as well as other aspects of Greek life as whole. He despised the political, educational, and societal views that remained persistent throughout Athens. While his plays may be comedies, he uses them in an assortment of ways. His plays are used to demonstrate a purpose far beyond that of entertainment. He uses his writing for voicing the problems that lie in Ancient culture.
Aristophanes uses each play to reveal certain issues that he felt should have been dealt with. His plays featured satire, farces, and even comical dialogue. His plays were written with clarity and were quite lyrical. Using plays as vessels ...view middle of the document...

He wants to finally be done with the fighting and have peace.
After arguing that the Peloponnesian War should end, Dikaiopolis decides that he is going to make an area where there will be peace. He creates a private and individual peace treaty with the Spartans, and he finally receives his peace. His land and his home become war-free (The Acharnians, lines 195-204).
The Acharnians were appalled that Dikaiopolis had signed a peace treaty. They form a mob and head to his home. There, they insult him and they threaten his life. But the whole time this is going on, Dikaiopolis is mocking them. He is insulting them because of how foolish they really are. Dikaiopolis doesn’t understand why they want to fight so much.
He takes every opportunity to advocate their stupidity by comically refuting their actions toward him and his family. Dikaiopolis says, “Comedy too can sometimes discern what is right. I shall not please, but I shall say what is true,” (The Acharnians, lines 500-501). He means that he is going to say whatever he feels is right, and in the end, no matter what actions the Acharnians take, there isn’t anything they can do to stop him from laughing at what they do.
Aristophanes uses Dikaiopolis as an agent of conveyance. The Peloponnesian War had “devastated the Greek world in the 5th century” (Perry, pg. 70), and this play was written to solidify Aristophanes’ agreement with this statement. By choosing the Acharnians for this play, he chose a people that the Athenians could relate to; a beaten down group of individuals whose only hopes of regaining pride rested in their efforts to win the war.
When this play was written, the Peloponnesian War had already been going on for six years. During every year of this war, the Spartans invaded Attica. When they did this, they would constantly be provoking the Athenians to fight against them. These were always fights that Athens could not win. But this still didn’t stop them from trying. And every time they did fight, it ended in bloodshed for the Athenian army. The people of Athens had to then suffer the consequences.
Even after all of the losses, all of the casualties, and all of the hiding, the Athenians learned nothing. They continued to continue their conquest for redemption, and Aristophanes was not a proponent of this behavior. He used this play to make a point, not necessarily for the people of Athens to actually consider, but to look at, and possibly see themselves through the stupidity of the Acharnians. Dikaiopolis was wiser than the Acharnians, or Athenians, could ever imagine being. And while The Acharnians was a demonstration against the Athenian views of the continuance of the Peloponnesian War, Lysistrata was used to mock and criticize not only the Peloponnesian War, but also the roles of women in Athenian society.
Lysistrata is a play fundamentally centered on the treatment and abuse of females in the Athenian world. However, the play wasn’t initially viewed by the audience as a...

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