The Frogs by Aristophanes: Themes

  • Created by: Holly
  • Created on: 10-06-13 18:17
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  • The Frogs by Aristophanes: Themes
    • The need to return to traditional values and saving Athens
      • Beneath the comedy lies a serious message that Athens must return to its traditional values expressed in Aeschylus' plays
        • Athens was losing the Peloponnesian War against Sparta, fleetwas defeated at Sicilian Exp. or Arginusae (413-404 BC)
    • The exalted role of playwrights
      • As wise observers of human beings and interpreters of their ideas and actions, playwrights hold an exalted position in ancient Greece
        • The fact that D was willing to enter the infernal regions to bring back a playwright emphasise the importance of playwrights to the health of the state
    • Beware of new voices in education
      • new voices in education- such as those of the Sophists- pose a danger to the state
        • The Sophists were traveling teachers who provided an education for a fee
        • They maintained that the guiding principles o a society, such as justice and truth, were relative concepts- that is, these principles changed according to he needs of men in a particular time and place
        • what was right in Athens was not necessarily right in another society. One man's virtue is another man's vice
        • A associates E with the Sophist reputation forcorrupting morals when he says that E is guilty of "foisting thy tales of incest on the stage".
        • Sophists did not pray to the traditional gods, they prayed to "Ether, Tongue and Nostril"
    • Foll of deception
      • D disguises himself as Heracles, wearing a lion skin and carrying a club to appear formidable to those he meets in Hades.
        • However his plan backfired when the enemies of H think that D is in fact H and threaten him. Spooked by their threats he makes X wear the H disguise
    • Climax
      • Occurs when D picks A over E because of the former's emphasis in his plays on traditional values and writing standards


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