Aristophanes and Cleon


1. Why did Cleon attempt to prosecute Aristophanes over one of his plays?

  • The play had disgraced Athens in front of foreign ambassadors
  • The play was a direct and personal attack on Cleon
  • The play was a personal attack on Cleon's wife
  • The play revealed many of Assembly's secrets to foreign ambassadors
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2. Why are Aristophanes' attacks on Cleon entertaining in his plays?

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

3. Why was Cleon unsuccessful in prosecuting Aristophanes?

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

4. What did Cleon and Aristophanes have in common?

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

5. Which of Aristophanes' plays did Cleon attempt to prosecute him over?

  • The Knights
  • Telephus
  • The Babylonians
  • The Acharnians


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