Greek Comedy

  • Created by: Benlhunt
  • Created on: 18-06-16 16:08

Greek Plays - Aristophanes' 'theatre of the absurd'

Old Comedy - Has a message (often conveyed in the parabasis) reinforced throughout the play that calls the Greeks to arms - Clouds to combat scourge of sophistry and Lysistrata a call for peace and pan-Hellenic unity.

Suggestion that plays were performed to up to 30,000 Greeks - likely a fallacy as the Dionysian theatre could hold only half of that 

Male audience primarily, and address was directed towards them primarily 


Context Points

Advocate for pan-hellenic unity and general Greek peace in Lysistrata

-reminds of Persian enemy

- Unity of Athens + Sparta at the end - put an end to the Peloponesian war 

Idea of Fantasy in his plays

Lysistrata is a comedy for example, but there are some obvious inconsistencies: 

- Men didn't rely on wives for sex, they used prostitutes and slaves too 

- Women complain men are all at war - then  they wouldn't be complaining in Athens

- Idea of Lampito + other foreign women travelling to enemy territory is absurd

Character Analysis of Lysistrata  

- Aware of women's failings: complains when late, and says all women do is 'shag, calve, and dispose of' (have sex, give birth and get rid of the baby)

- Shows contempt for politicians - 'Peisander and all those other office seekers keep stirring up trouble to get more opportunities for stealing public funds'

- Idea that men make political blunders

Intelligent - uses women's resources - (sex) to get what she wants 

Manipulation: example shown as she arouses Cinesias even before he has seen his wife

Good speaker - demonstrated in argument with magistrate 

- she subverts the traditional (household) depiction of women: Argues they can untangle foreign affairs, woolworking metaphor  

- they should take over state finances as they have always maintained household finances

- She is concerned…


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