Aristophanes and Cleon

1. Why was Cleon unsuccessful in prosecuting Aristophanes?

  • Aristophanes had the most expensive lawyer in Athens at the time
  • The Assembly did not like Cleon for blackmailing the Athenian citizens
  • Playwrights could not be prosecuted for what anything said in a play
  • Playwrights were paid to attack and undermine politicians like Cleon
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2. What did Cleon and Aristophanes have in common?

  • They both came from same home town
  • They both sympathised with the Megarians
  • They shared a father
  • They both hated war

3. What was Aristophanes' main reason for attacking Cleon?

  • He believed Cleon was attempting to make peace with Sparta
  • He wanted to avenge Cleon for attempting to prosecute him and blackmail the Athenians
  • He believed that Cleon had slept with his wife
  • He was being paid by Pericles to publicly humiliate Cleon to steer voters away from him

4. Who was Cleon?

  • Athens' most skilled naval commander
  • A prominent politician
  • A pro-war army general
  • Aristophanes estranged brother

5. Why are Aristophanes' attacks on Cleon entertaining in his plays?

  • The audience knew Cleon was sitting in the front seat of the theatre
  • The audience could see Cleon's family in the theatre
  • The audience knew Aristophanes would soon be arrested
  • The audience knew Cleon was dying

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