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The Hardest Work of All

Permanent Link: http://ncf.sobek.ufl.edu/NCFE004475/00001

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Title: The Hardest Work of All Aristophanes' Words on his Art of Comedy
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Berlin, Ross F.
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2011
Publication Date: 2011

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Aristophanes
Comedian
Comedy
Ancient
Drama
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: All eleven comedies to survive complete from thechorus leaders and characters consistently represent dramatic poetry as a medium for education rather than a medium for nonsense. Aristophanes represents the comedian alongside the tragedian as a serious and efficacious artist. Classical Period of Athenian dramatic poetry are ascribed to one poet, Aristophanes. The generic tropes of his work include abusive satire of real persons and events, fantastic plots set in contemporaneous circumstances, and an abundance of scatological imagery and sexual innuendo. In his work, the poet explicitly dramatizes his role in the real world affairs of making comedy. This thesis examines a selection of references in Aristophanes� work that represent the comic poet as a particular kind of artist. Despite the ridiculous plots and frequently grotesque contents of his plays, Aristophanes defends his comedy for its benefits to the citizens of Athens, benefits the poet himself describes. This thesis draws a course through five of Aristophanes� plays (Acharnians 425 B.C.E., Knights 424 B.C.E., Wasps 422 B.C.E., Peace 421 B.C.E., and Frogs 405 B.C.E.) to demonstrate the constancies in Aristophanes' numerous representations of the poet in society. Speeches of
Statement of Responsibility: by Ross F. Berlin
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2011
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO NCF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Shaw, Carl

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2011 B51
System ID: NCFE004475:00001

Permanent Link: http://ncf.sobek.ufl.edu/NCFE004475/00001

Material Information

Title: The Hardest Work of All Aristophanes' Words on his Art of Comedy
Physical Description: Book
Language: English
Creator: Berlin, Ross F.
Publisher: New College of Florida
Place of Publication: Sarasota, Fla.
Creation Date: 2011
Publication Date: 2011

Subjects

Subjects / Keywords: Aristophanes
Comedian
Comedy
Ancient
Drama
Genre: bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
government publication (state, provincial, terriorial, dependent)   ( marcgt )
born-digital   ( sobekcm )
Electronic Thesis or Dissertation

Notes

Abstract: All eleven comedies to survive complete from thechorus leaders and characters consistently represent dramatic poetry as a medium for education rather than a medium for nonsense. Aristophanes represents the comedian alongside the tragedian as a serious and efficacious artist. Classical Period of Athenian dramatic poetry are ascribed to one poet, Aristophanes. The generic tropes of his work include abusive satire of real persons and events, fantastic plots set in contemporaneous circumstances, and an abundance of scatological imagery and sexual innuendo. In his work, the poet explicitly dramatizes his role in the real world affairs of making comedy. This thesis examines a selection of references in Aristophanes� work that represent the comic poet as a particular kind of artist. Despite the ridiculous plots and frequently grotesque contents of his plays, Aristophanes defends his comedy for its benefits to the citizens of Athens, benefits the poet himself describes. This thesis draws a course through five of Aristophanes� plays (Acharnians 425 B.C.E., Knights 424 B.C.E., Wasps 422 B.C.E., Peace 421 B.C.E., and Frogs 405 B.C.E.) to demonstrate the constancies in Aristophanes' numerous representations of the poet in society. Speeches of
Statement of Responsibility: by Ross F. Berlin
Thesis: Thesis (B.A.) -- New College of Florida, 2011
Electronic Access: RESTRICTED TO NCF STUDENTS, STAFF, FACULTY, AND ON-CAMPUS USE
Bibliography: Includes bibliographical references.
Source of Description: This bibliographic record is available under the Creative Commons CC0 public domain dedication. The New College of Florida, as creator of this bibliographic record, has waived all rights to it worldwide under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights, to the extent allowed by law.
Local: Faculty Sponsor: Shaw, Carl

Record Information

Source Institution: New College of Florida
Holding Location: New College of Florida
Rights Management: Applicable rights reserved.
Classification: local - S.T. 2011 B51
System ID: NCFE004475:00001


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1 THE HARDEST WORK OF ALL: ARISTOPHANES WORDS ON HIS ART OF COMEDY BY ROSS FRANK BERLIN A Thesis Submitted to the Division of Humanities New College of Florida i n partial fulfillment of the requirements for Bachelor of Arts Under the Sponsorship of Professor Carl Shaw Sarasota, Florida May, 2011

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2 Table of Contents Abstract Introduction 0.1 The Poet as Competitor 0.2 Aristophanes and the Dramatic Festivals 0.3 Outline of the Present Work Chapter One 1.1 Dramatizing the Work of the Comedian 1.2 The Plot of the Acharnians (425 B.C.E.) 1.3 The Paraba sis of the Acharnians 1.4 Dicaeopolis' Defense of Comedy Chapter Two 2.1 Keeping the Audience in Mind 2.2 Aristophanes' Respect for Comedy 2.3 Confrontation and Comedy 2.4 The Comedian as Hero Chapter Three 3.1 The Right Kind of Poet 3.2 An Inexp licable Craving (for Poetry) 3.3 Defining Poets by their Audiences Concluding Remarks Bibliography

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3 THE HARDEST WORK OF ALL: ARISTOPHANES' WORDS ON HIS ART OF COMEDY Ross Frank Berlin New College of Florida, 2011 ABSTRACT All eleven comedies to survive complete from the Classical Period of Athenian dramatic poetry are ascribed to one poet, Aristophane s. The generic tropes of his work include abusive satire of real persons and events, fantastic plots set in contemporaneous circumstances, and an abundance of scatological imagery and sexual innuendo. In his work, the poet explicitly dramatizes his role in the real world affairs of making comedy. This thesis examines a selection of references in Aristophanes' work that represent the comic poet as a particular kind of artist. Despite the ridiculous plots and frequently grotesque contents of hi s plays A risto phanes defends his comedy for its benefits to the citizens of Athens benefits the poet himself describes This thesis draws a cou rse through five of Aristophanes plays ( Acharnians 425 B.C.E., Knights 424 B.C.E., Wasps 422 B.C.E., Peace 421 B.C.E., and Fr ogs 405 B.C.E.) to demonstrate the constancies in Aristophanes' nume rous representations of the poet in society Speeches of chorus leaders and characters consistently represent dramatic poetry as a medium for education rathe r than a medium for nonsense. A ristophanes re presents the comedian alongside the tragedian as a serious and efficacious artist.

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4 Professor Carl Shaw Division of Humanities

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5 Introduction 0.1 The Poet as Competitor Anecdotes regarding Aristophanes the man populate the scholiastic notes of the ancient and medieval texts in which his work has been preserved. They tell us that Aristophanes was born an Athenian in 446 B.C.E, tha t his father was named Phillipus of the deme Cydathenaus, and that he produced his first comedy at festival at the age of twenty, in 427 B.C.E.. He then produced works for the dramatic festivals exclusively in the genre of comedy until his last play in 388 B.C.E. It is likely that that he was no longer living in the year 380 B.C.E. 1 For nearly forty years, Aristophanes enjoyed consistent success at the Athenian dramatic festivals 2 The crux of our thoughts on Aristophanes, however, biographical and literar y, rests upon the texts o f his work themselves. Certain S cholia, which report real events in the life of Aristophanes or which describe his political posture, are clear extrapolations from the content of his plays. Into the twentieth century, scholars such as G. E. M. de Ste Croix, aimed to derive the character of the historical Aristophanes from the content of his plays 3 The value of the biographical approach, howeve r is dubious. Aristophanes' represents himself as a comedian in his plays, not as a perso n. An examination of these representations is crucial to the understanding of his work. The earliest complete text of dramatic comic poetry that survives is the Acharnians of 1 Jeffrey Henderson, Aristo phanes Vol. 1 Harvard University Press 1998, p. 3. 2 Ibid. pp.4 5 3 G.E.M. de Ste Croix, "The Political Outlook of Aristophanes", Aristophanes ed. Erich Segal, Oxford University Press 1996, pp. 42 64.

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6 Aristophanes. This play, produced in 425 B.C.E, is the earliest complete example of Old Comedy, a distinct period of comedy performed at the Athenian dramatic competitions of the fifth century B.C.E.. Eleven of Aristophanes' plays survive complete from the years between 427 B.C.E and 388 B.C.E. Twenty nine other titles are attributed to him. These eleven works are the only examples of Old Comedy to survive in their entirety, and it is largely through them that scholars understand the tropes of the genre 4 Aristophanes' mockery of real persons, historical and contemporaneous to himself, is the trope most pertinent to our understanding of Old Comedy's unique social context. The frequency of references to the names of real persons in each of Aristophanes' surviving plays is overwhelming. In this thesis, we will focus on how the poetry of A ristophanes represents the work and influence of real poets, including Aristophanes himself, in Athenian society. The current accepted record of Aristophanes' success at competition suggests that Aristophanes enjoyed an exorbitant amount of success early in his career, as a very young man. His first play, 427's Banqueters, won second prize out of five competitors, and he fo llowed this success with three first prize victories: 426's Babylonians 425's Acharnians, and 424's Knights His career continued for the next thirty years and he often placed within the top three competitors, but Aristophanes never experienced such a high volume of victory as in those first four years of his career from 427 424 B.C.E.. Each of the eleven texts ascribed to Aristophanes that survive s today was written and produced for one of two annual festivals of the Athenian state, the Lenaia of the wintertime and the City Dionysia of the spring. These festivals were the sole occasions for the performance of 4 Jeffrey Henderson, The Maculate Muse: Obscene Langua ge in Attic Comedy, Oxford University Press 1991, xiv.

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7 Aristophanes' work 5 Certai n comments emphasize the importance of these festivals to Aristophanes' work. In a number of his plays, Aristophanes references the festivals themselves and draws special attention to his own role as !"#$%&' (poet) or (#()*+,-"' ( trainer of the chorus). Analyses of these references will shed light on the role that Aristophanes represented himself as fulfilling in the context of his original performances. This thesis will examine how Aristophanes repres ents his station as comic poet as being more than that of a simple jester. We will see how Aristophanes represents the comedian as an adviser and teacher of the citizenry of Athens. Aristophanes represents his comedy as a demanding endeavor, and he highlig hts for his audiences the elements of his poetry that he deems most worthy of recognition. We will see that Aristophanes represents the station of the Athenian poet, both of tragedy and of comedy, as being the most influential station in the education of t he Athenian populace 6 This thesis will review selections of Aristophanes's comedy that dramatize the responsibility of the poet to the Athenian audience. In the work of Aristophanes, the "poet" makes explicitly clear his personal desire for recognition. These comments vary in character. Some are explicitly attributed to the poet, whereas many are merely the suggestive comments of dramatic characters. A substantial portion of these comments appears in the form of a formal choral speech known as the parabas is. The term parabasis has come to denote this particular kind of choral speech due to the importance of the word !,./0$ ( !,.,0,123 ) in distinguishing the earliest "parabasis", that of the Acharnians of 425 B.C.E.. In the speech, the chorus draws attention to its role as a chorus. It also refers to 5 Sidwell, Keith C. Aristophanes the Democrat: the Politics of Satirical Comedy during the Peloponnesian War Cambridge, UK: Cambridge UP, 2009 suggests the possibility of private performances among se lect individuals. However, the possibility of such a performance is based on an interpretation of Aristophanes the man, which I do not intend to treat in this work. 6 Aristophanes Frogs vv. 1418 1423.

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8 the trainer of the chorus and the poet behind the play. The subject of the speech is the poet's personal sentiments about his poetry and his concerns about the audience's reception of it. Below is the opening lin e of the earliest "parabasis", the line that includes the term !,./0$ : !"#$% : 4 5 6 78 9"." : *#2 4 ;/*%$+82 %.<7#+" : = (#()*+,-"' > ? 2 @ !3 !,./0$ !. A % A B/,%."2 -/532 C (85#D' 4 *%#2 (Ar. Acharnians vv. 628 629) Chorus : Ever since our trainer put his hand to comic choruses, not once has he stepped forw ard with the intention of saying in front of the theatre that he is in the right. In this speech, the subject of the sentence is the (#()*+,-"' the "trainer" of the chorus. Never before has he "stepped forward" ( !,./0$ ) to say that he is in the right. This "stepping forward" marks the distinction between the parabasis and the rest of the play in which it is conducted. The subject of the speech from which the above example is drawn is interchangeably the !"#$%&' "poet" and the (#()*+,-"' "trainer." The personage responsible for the speech is the figure responsible for the play itself. In the parabasis, this figure "steps forward" to reveal his own thoughts in the texts through the medium of the chorus. The early plays of Aristophanes' career, the Acharni ans 425 B.C.E., the Knights 424 B.C.E., the Wasps 422 B.C.E., the Peace 421 B.C.E., the Clouds 419 416 B.C.E., and the later Frogs 404 B.C.E., each feature a formal choral ode that exhibits certain characteristics of the parabasis of the Acharnians. The pa rabases of these plays comment specifically on the poet, certain elements of his work, and the festival in

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9 which he participates. Each is fundamentally an argument for Aristophanes' supremacy as a comic poet, and they characterize the poet's station in rel ation to his audience. By tracing common threads through certain speeches that are concerned with the audience's reception of Aristophanes as a poet competitor, we will outline Aristophanes' numerous representations of the nature of his comedy, as well as his identity as a comic artist. Aristophanes distinguishes himself from his contemporaries and predecessors. For instance, Aristophanes is the only comedian known to have claimed intellectual sophistication as one of his virtues 7 It is not possible to ga uge the sincerity of Aristophanes's representations of his persona as a comic dramatist, since the poet wrote for the comic competit i on, and it is likely that even the poet's parabases were intended primarily to deliver the carefree humor we associate with comedy today. However, it might not be wise to assume that Athenian audiences from over two thousand years ago were so over stimulated by comic media as we are in the present day. The constancy of Aristophanes' representations of his comic persona might h ave demanded the attention of audiences who witnessed comic dramas at the Theatre of Dionysus on only two occassions a year. 7 Jeffrey Henderson, Aristophanes Vol. I, Harvard Uni versity Press, Cambridge, Massachusettes 1998, p. 8.

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10 0.2 Aristophanes and the Dramatic Festivals Aristophanes' years of activity were met with great success at festival ove r the course of Athens' long, costly war with the Spartan alliance. In this war, Aristophanes saw his city repeatedly put itself in jeopardy, as it ended with Athens' inglorious defeat in 404 B.C.E. His plays often bring this and other contemporaneous soci al conflicts into view, satirizing matters and persons Athenian, Hellenic, and Persian for consistently large audiences. Each of the plays were produced at an outdoor theatrical venue designed to accommodate sixteen thousand people. This specially designat ed theatrical venue of the Athenian city state, the Theatre of Dionysus, resided on the east side of Athens' acropolis, the hill which housed the most important building and public place of the Athenian city state: the assembly room, called the Pnyx. The success of Aristophanes' early plays seems to have corresponded to the poet's harsh, critical, and exceedingly satirical voice. Shining through in topicality and strongly self conscious appraisals of the values of his own work, Aristophanes' earliest s urviving comedies (the Acharnians and the Knights ) are striking in that their success went hand in hand with a chastisement of contemporaneous political circumstances in Athens' radical democracy. The festivals that staged the work of Aristophanes were c ivic events. They used public space at appointed times, and all funds from the cost of purchased tickets headed straight to the city's stores themselves. The cost of attendance was a single obol, but any citizen who might have needed the money for missing a day's wage could apply for a state subsidized stipend 8 The festivals were held in honor of the god of theatre, masks and wine, Dionysus, at the Theatre of 8 MacDowell, Douglas M. Aristophanes and Athens Oxford: Oxford UP, 1995. pp. 13 14.

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11 Dionysus on the south side of the Acropolis, Athens' busiest hill. 9 The civic nature of these fe stivals leads us to believe that they were, to a certain degree, nationalistic in function. The City Dionysia, the festival of springtime, when the seas were safe to sail, hosted foreigners. During these times, innkeepers and landowners prospered by rentin g out space, and shopkeepers surely benefited from an influx of peaceful visitors. In their most essential function, the festivals were exhibitions of the artistic work of Athenian citizens. Each production featured the artistic endeavors of Athenian poets and Athenian 9".$7"1 (money providers), embodied for performance by Athenians youths who sang, danced, acted and played musical instruments over either three of five full days of performance. 10 In fact, Aristophanes exploits the nationalistic nature of the festivals to argue in defense of the content of his comedy. We will see the poet construct a representation of his comedy as being written and performed for the sake of the city and its citizens. The content of Aristophanes' comedies precludes any notion that poets s imply praised the Athenian city state at these civic festivals. The parabasis of the Acharnians which we will examine below, credits Aristophanes for accosting the Athenians for certain behaviors (Ar. Acharnians, vv. 628 636.) For representing such things in poetry, the parabasis reads, Aristophanes credits himself for making it known throughout the Greek cities that Athens is a democracy (vv. 641 643). In the Acharnians, Aristophanes dramatizes the ways in which certain politicians of Athens' radical demo cracy might have taken legal action to discourage politically volatile forms of comedy (vv. 368 382). Certain pieces of evidence suggest that politicians actually put forth various decrees thr oughout the second half of the fifth Century B.C.E. to 9 Arthur Elam Haigh, The Attic Theatre: a description of the stage and theatre of the Athenians 1889 p. 110 111 10 Th ree at the Lenaia, Five at the City Dionysia MacDowell, Douglas M. Aristophanes and Athens: an Introduction to the Plays Oxford: Oxford UP, 1995. pp. 7 11.

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12 restrict the acceptable forms and contents of comedic dramas 11 Aristophanes' representation of a personal feud between himself and the leading statesman and general, Cleon, has ignited much discussion regarding the political views, attitudes and powers of Aristopha nes' satire. Although the texts of Aristophanes provide no firm evidence as to the realities of the legal conflict, certain comedies of Aristophanes which feature an abundance of satire regarding Cleon in particular were successful at festival during the s ame time that Cleon enjoyed re election to Athens' politically preeminent board of ten generals. This historical coincidence suggests that comedies of the most recognizable and controversial figures put themselves in position to enjoy the most recognizable and controversial success. In numerous representations of himself as a comic dramatist, we will see Aristophanes argue that his work confronts the most influential people and the most significant issues of his day. 0.3 Outline of the Present Work Ch apter one will examine Aristophanes' earliest surviving play, the Acharnians to outline the play's programmatic statements concerning the poet's comedy The parabasis of the play is presented as the first speech in defense of the young poet. In the parabas is, the chorus leader states that the poet has never before claimed in front of the theatre that he is in the right. The parabasis then defends this claim by arguing that Aristophanes' comedic representations of the 11 Henderson, Jeffrey. Aristophanes Vol. 1. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1998 p. 17.

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13 Athenian citizenry are the source of imp ortant benefits to the city. Those benefits, the parabasis argues, are the ignoble behaviors, which Aristophanes' representations bring to an end. I will demonstrate how the text suggests that these benefits are brought about by Aristophanes' abusive and c omedic representations of Athenians and their behaviors. The second half the chapter will connect the parabasis of the Acharnians to a certain set of speeches spoken by the protagonist of the play, Dicaeopolis. In these speeches, Dicaeopolis articulates a systematic program of Aristophanic comedy. The first chapter will ultimately demonstrate how certain comic segments in the Acharnians actually conform to the comic program defended by both the speaker of the parabasis and the protagonist, Dicaeopolis. The correspondences between the parabasis's programmatic statements and the dramatic segments of the play suggest that Aristophanes' parabatic statements might have been intended to be reliable. The programmatic statements reviewed in chapter one will be of sp ecial significance to the treatments of subsequent plays examined in later chapters. Chapter two will demonstrate how Aristophanes' other early comedies, subsequent to the Acharnians, incorporate and elaborate upon the representations of the poet and his comedy presented in the Acharnians. The parabasis of the Knights of 424 B.C.E. emphasizes the poet's respect for his art and the prudence with which he has approached the task of producing comic poetry. The parabasis represents Aristophanes as an artist wh o takes his work seriously in the context of a play that severely abuses a real world figure. We will review the grotesque representations of Aristophanes' primary target in the Knights Cleon, demonstrating how Aristophanes complies with the programmatic statements presented in the Acharnians Finally, we will see how the parabases of the Wasps (422 B.C.E.) and the Peace (421 B.C.E.) reiterate

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14 Aristophanes' systematic approach to comedy in figurative language. In the parabases of both the Wasps and the Pea ce, the poet is depicted as a hero who advances against figures who threaten society The figurative representations of these parabases characterize Aristophanes as composing dramatic comedy for the sake of his audience. By bringing monstrosity to light, A ristophanes protects the Athenian audience from ignorance. Chapter three will demonstrate how Aristophanes' Frogs of 404 B.C.E. recapitulates his earlier characterization of the ideal poet with an entire plot. The problems of judging poetry are magnifie d in the play's mock dramatic competition between Aeschylus and Euripides. The Frogs follows the god of theatre, Dionysus, as he descends to the underworld to satisfy his craving for a clever tragic poet, Euripides. Close readings of the text reveal the pl ay's representation of the problems involved in the judging of dramatic poetry. These issues are magnified in the play's mock dramatic competition between Aeschylus and Euripides. The conclusion of the play resolves the confusion by referring the arbitrati on of the competition to a single element of dramatic poetry. In a proclamation that echoes the sentiments of Aristophanes' earlier parabases, Dionysus, judge of the dramatic competition, decides to make his selection on the basis of the poet's ability to educate his audience. We will see how the Frogs characterizes poets as being responsible for the well being of their audiences. Chapter Three will regard the Frogs as the final piece of evidence for Aristophanes' chronologically developed representation of the importance of the poet to society.

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15 Chapter One 1.1 Dramatizing the Work of the Comedian In Aristophanes' Frogs 405 B.C.E., Dionysus descends to the underworld to recover the recently deceased tragedian, Euripides. When Dionysus finally arrives Euripides is said to be involved in a dispute with Aeschylus. Euripides, new to the underworld, is arguing for the right of the underworld's greatest tragedian to take his dinner in the Great Hall beside Pluto himself, a right which Aeschylus currently h olds. Two slave characters prepare the audience for what will be a showdown between the poets of the underworld. Euripides and Aeschylus are to be judged by Dionysus, whose role as the patron deity of drama privileges him to be sole juror. The two poets en gage in a competition of words that features jokes on the language, plotlines, and metrical techniques of each playwright's actual material. After the arguments stall and Dionysus fails to decide upon a winner, Pluto informs Dionysus that the one poet he s elects as winner may have the right to leave the underworld and return to the world of the living. Dionysus then informs the competitors that they each have one last chance to defend their worth as poets. The god announces that his choice is to be determin ed on one ground alone: Dionysus: Now listen, you two. I came down here for a poet. What for? To save the city, of course! Otherwise there won't be any more drama festivals and then where would I be? Now, whoever can think of the best piece of a dvice to give the Athenians at this juncture,

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16 he's the one I'll take back with me. ( Frogs vv. 1418 1424, trans. David Barrett 12 ) Aristophanes raises this issue, that of the role of the dramatic poet in contemporary Athenian society, in a number of his pl ays. Whether he plots an entire play around the question of the best tragedian, as in the Frogs or argues for his own comic poetry as being of the highest quality, as in the parabasis of the Acharnian s Aristophanes frequently represents poets and their p oetry in his comedies. This chapter will examine Aristophanes' representation of the poet as an advisor to the city in his earliest surviving play, the Acharnians of 425 B.C.E .. The parabasis of the play represents the comic poet, commenting on his role in relation to "the Athenians" that compose his audience. Not only does the chorus remark upon the qualities of the worthwhile comic poet in the parabasis, but the play's protagonist, Dicaeopolis, raises the issue of the role of comedy in society within t he play's dramatic action. In a complicated scene, Dicaeopolis conflates himself with the comic poet, demonstrating in the manner prescribed by the parabasis the capacity and responsibility of the worthwhile comedian to discuss dikh (justice). In this chap ter, I will examine the parabasis of the Acharnians alongside Dicaeopolis's speech, showing the consistencies of Aristophanes' representations of the worthwhile comedian. My analysis will demonstrate how Aristophanes represents the ideal comic poet as an a dvisor to the Athenian people. 12 Aristophanes. Frogs and Other Plays Trans. David Barrett. Ed. Shomit Dutta. London: Penguin, 2007, vv. 1418 1424.

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17 1.2 The Plot of the Acharnians Aristophanes' earliest surviving play, the Acharnians, follows one character, Dicaeopolis, as he puts himself at odds with the Athenian city state by exacting a private peace treaty with the Spartans during a time of war. This character, Dicaeopolis, whose name translates as "the just city," opens the Acharnians by lamenting the woes that befall him as a member of the Athenian city state. Dicaeopolis is a rustic man familiar with contempo raneous political figures and poetic performers. At the beginning of the play, he appears at the city's Pnyx, the place where the daily business of the democracy is transacted. Dicaeopolis is there to call for a discussion regarding the development of a pe ace treaty that would discontinue war with the Spartans. The herald in charge of conducting the day's business ignores Dicaeopolis's pleas entirely, in spite of the fact that Dicaeopolis was the first on the scene of the Pnyx that morning. After the democr atic assembly disregards his pleas, Dicaeopolis enlists the help of his semi divine friend Amphitheus to make a private peace with the Spartans. Amphitheus travels to and from Sparta in a matter of moments to offer Dicaeopolis the peace treaty. As soon as Dicaeopolis confirms a thirty year private peace treaty between the Spartans and himself, one that allows for trade and protects the safety of Dicaeopolis's estate, Dicaeopolis begins a celebration in honor of Dionysus. At this point in the play, the cho rus of old Acharnian men charges onto the scene intent on punishing Dicaeopolis with violence. The inclusion of the Acharnian men within the play's dramatic action primes the conflict between the causes of peace and war. In the first years of the Peloponne sian War, the region of Acharnae was repeatedly attacked by the Spartans in the

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18 campaigning that plagued rural Attica. Angered by the treachery of his peacemaking with the Spartans, the old Acharnian men force Dicaeopolis to defend his decision by pain of death. Dicaeopolis defends his act in a speech that relieves the Spartans of blame. He holds Athens accountable for waging war without just cause. After he is compelled to defend himself, Dicaeopolis visits the house of Aristophanes' contemporary tragic po et, Euripides. Dicaeopolis explains that he is visiting the tragedian to ask for tragic garb in which he might dress himself. It is Dicaeopolis's defense speech on the chopping block in front of the vengeful Acharnians, dressed as a Euripidean character, t hat corresponds in its representation of the ideal comedian to the argument presented in the play's parabasis. Both speeches outline a program for Aristophanic comedy. An examination of the dramatic action of the play will demonstrate the consistencies bet ween the programs for comedy in these two speeches and the dramatic action of the play in which these speeches appear. Despite the exceedingly critical view of Athenian policy that Dicaeopolis presents in his defense speech, some members of the chorus of Acharnians are convinced that the old man is not deserving of death. A separate section of the chorus cries out to summon the general Lamachus, whose name can be translated from the Greek as "excessively warlike." These choral members summon the general to punish Dicaeopolis on the grounds that, "...[Dicaeopolis]...incessantly abuses Athens" (v. 577). This "incessant abuse of Athens" is a theme restated in the parabasis in regards to the poet of the play proper. After the two proponents of peace and war, Di caeopolis and Lamachus, make clear their positions to one another, the chorus introduces the parabasis, noting in particular that the people have changed their minds on account of Dicaeopolis's speech (v. 626). The significance of the speech is marked by a n explicit link between the fictional

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19 character and the poet of the play. I will address the parabasis at greater length below, but I will review here the basic rhetorical form of the speech. The speech is a defense of the poet against the criticisms of some hateful men" for the negative representations he presents of the Athenian city state in his plays. The defense boils down to the speaker's insistence that these representations are deserved, and that the plays of Aristophanes honestly address matters of the highest importance for the sake of the highest good. After the parabasis, the play follows Dicaeopolis as he enjoys the benefits of a private peace with Sparta. He trades with the Megarians and Boeotians for delectable goods, he initiates festive r ights and enjoys dance, song, and eludes strongly to the sexual pleasure that comes with peace (vv. 804 808). The chorus eventually offers their own favorable opinion of peace after witnessing the high spirits of Dicaeopolis: Chorus: You see, citizens, you see the good fortune which this man owes to his prudence, to his profound wisdom. You see how, since he has concluded peace, he buys what is useful in the household and good to eat hot. All good things flow towards him unsought. Never will I welcome the god of war in my house; never shall he chant the "Harmodius" at my table; he is a sot, who comes feasting with those who are overflowing with good things and brings all manner of mischief at his heels. He overthrows, ruins, rips open ; 'tis vain to make him a thousand offers, "be seated, pray, drink this cup, proffered in all

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20 friendship," he burns our vine stocks and brutally pours out the wine from our vineyards on the ground. This man, on the other hand, covers his table with a thousand dishes; proud of his good fortunes, he has had these feathers cast before his door to show us how he lives. ( Acharnians vv. 971 987. 13 ) The play's conclusion witnesses Dicaeopolis preparing for a wedding while Lamachus is said to be s ent off to war. The general receives an injury, and, at the very end of the play, Lamachus's slave returns to ask for water for the fallen soldier. Dicaeopolis assists Lamachus and then proceeeds with a triumphal procession, concluding the play with an inv ocation of wine to celebrate his victory as a purveyor of peace. 1.3 The Parabasis of the Acharnians The city state of Athens was at war with Sparta during the production of the Acharnians in 425 B.C.E. In the play, real world repercussions of the war are exploited for dramatic effect. These include, but are not limited to, restrictions on trade with allies and the militant anger of citizens in the countryside against peace, since they had now seen their crops repeatedly destroyed by the Spar tans in the summers of 431, 430, 428, and 425 B.C.E. 14 At the beginning 13 Aristophanes, Acharnians. The Eleven Comedies. New York. Liveright, 1923. 14 Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War 2.18, 2.56, 3.1, 4.2

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21 of the play, Dicaeopolis is seen at the most important site of the Athenian democracy, the Pnyx. When democratic practice gets under way, he is completely ignored. These representation s of Athenian life are only some of those to which the chorus leader refers in the parabasis of the Acharnians. They are the representations that, in the words of the parabasis, have made the poet of the play "worthy of numerous blessings." In the parabas is of the Acharnians the chorus gives reasons for the negative representations of the Athenian city state that this play and plays produced earlier have presented on stage. This chapter will identify certain antecedents to which the parabasis refers in it s self reflexive discussion of the material presented during the first half of the Acharnians. By this route, we will see that the various defenses offered in the parabasis refer to the procedure of a comic method. Consistencies in the defense of this comi c method are present both in the parabasis and in Dicaeopolis's defense speech. We will examine both. Below is the parabasis of the Acharnians The translation is my own. E".D' : 4 5 6 78 9"." : *#2 4 ;/*%$+82 %.<7#+" : = (#()*+,-"' > ? 2 @ !3 !,./0$ !. A % A B/,%."2 -/532 C (85#D' 4 *%#2 : (#,0,--D 82"' ( F G A % ? 2 4 9B. ? 2 4 2 H B$2,1"#' %,9<0"I-"#' C +3 J (8 : % K 2 !D-#2 > ? 2 +, L % A 2 ( M "2 +,B<0.1N8# O !"+.12,*B,# (8 : %,# 2<2 L !. A H B$2,1"<' 8%,0"I-"<' ;$* L 2 ( F 8 P 2,# !"-? 2 O 7,B ? 2 Q 5#"' G : 2 = !"#$%&' !,I*,' G R 582#+" : *# -D7"#' K -1,2 4 5,!,% R *B,# &B F S (8*B,# B3!8<" /2"<' &% F 8 P 2,# 9,<2"!"-1%,'

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` ($ !D..3 +-/"' S +8# %8 +, L 0,*#-8 Z a,+8(,# "2132 % K 2 !.8*08 1,2 0,*,21N32 b .c%$*82 !. ? %, U 2 Y %" Z !D%8."# %, : 2,<* L +.,%" W *#2 8 P %, ( U %" W %"2 % A 2 !"#$% K 2 !"%/."<' 8 X !"# +,+ [ !"--) : %"I%"<' 7 [ d ;$ %" Z O 2B.c!"<' !"Z 08-%1"<' 78782 M *B,# +, L % e !"-/ J !"Z 2#+&*8#2 %" W %"2 5I 0"<-"2 d 9"2%,' (# [ %, W B F G R a,+8(,# D2#"# % K 2 8 V .&2$2 !."+,-" W 2%,# +, L % K 2 f X 7#2,2 O !,#%" W *#2 : +, L % M 2&*"< U 2 4 +812$' Y ;."2%1N"<* F O -F g 2, %" W %"2 % A 2 !"#$% K 2 O ;/-32%,# O -F G 8 : %"# & !"% F O ; M *B F : C +3 J (&*8# % [ (1+,#, : ;$* L 2 ( F G R !"-[ (#()58#2 O 7)B F h *% F 8 Y (,1 "2,' 8 P 2,# Y B3!8I32 Y ( F G !"%81232 #*B" Z Y ( F 4 5,!,%I--32

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23 Y ( U !,2"<.7 ? 2 Y ( U +,%).(32 O -[ % [ 0/-%#*%, (#()*+32 !. A %, W %, i-/32 +, L !,-, )*B3 +, L R 2 4 F 4 L %8+%,#2/*B3 % A 7 [ 8 j 8% F 4 W +, L % A (1+,#"2 5I ,9"2 d *%,# +" Y & !" B F k ? !8. L % K 2 !D-#2 l 2 h *!8. 4 +8 : 2"' (8#A +, L -,+,%,!I732 (vv. 626 664 15 ) Chorus Leader: The man [Dicaeopolis] prevails by means of his reasonings, and he persuades the people to change their minds regarding the treaty. And now, since we h ave stripped, let us head into the anapests. Ever since our trainer put his hand to comic choruses, not once has he stepped forward with the intention of saying in front of the theatre that he is in the right. But, being discredited by hateful m en among the Athenians so hasty in counsel, on the grounds that he makes comedy of our city and insults the people, he now wants to defend himself before the Athenians of changeable opinions. The poet declares that he is worthy of numerous blessin gs in regards to you all, as he is causing you all to cease from being utterly deceived by the correspondences of foreigners, and from being delighted when you are flattered, and, above all, from being empty headed citizens. In the past, deceit ful ambassadors from the cities were at once calling you "violet crowned", and whenever someone should say this, immediately, on account of the "crowns," you all would sit on the tops of your cute little butts. And if someone winning you by flatte ry should call Athens the shimmering," that someone would gain everything on account of "the 15 Aristop hanis Comoediae Volume 1, eds. F.W.Hall and W.M.Geldart, Oxford: 1907

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24 shimmering," having bestowed upon you all the honor due to witless anchovies. Having represented these things in poetry, the poet has become respons ible to you all for many great benefits, especially for making it known among the cities that the people are democratically governed. For that very reason, the ones bringing the tribute to you all from their cities will come with their hearts s et upon seeing the most excellent poet, who runs the risk of saying among Athenians that which is due. So far has the fame of his boldness already reached that even the King, when cross questioning the ambassadors of the Spartans, asked first and foremost which Greeks were superior in regards to ships, and then which Greeks this poet accosted with strong reproaches. For he said that these men have become far better men, and in war are far likelier to prevail keeping this poet as adviser. B ecause of this the Spartans make you all an offer of peace, and they demand the return of Aegina, not for care of that island, but for the purpose of taking this poet for themselves. But make sure that you never let him go, since he will continue to represent in comedy that which is due. And he declares that he will teach you many beneficial things so that you will be blessed with good minds, doing so without flattering, nor bribing, nor deceiving, nor using trickery, nor sprinkling praise but only teaching that which is the highest good. In light of these things, let Cleon contrive and work every last thing against me. For the good and just cause will be my ally, and never will I be caught in the city being like that man, a cowar d

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25 and a loose ass. ( Acharnians, vv. 626 664) In the parabasis of the Acharnians the chorus leader casts the poet Aristophanes as responding to the discrediting views of certain Athenians. One of his previous comedies, the Banqueters of 427 B.C.E or the Babylonians of 426 B.C.E. (or both), has purportedly violated certain standards of acceptability held by some. In the parabasis's defense of the poet, these "violations" are regarded by the chorus leader as being integral to the greatness of Aristophan es' comedy. The chorus leader justifies the poet's approach to making comedy and the content of the comedy that this approach demands. T he parabasis of the Acharnians rhetorically presents itself as being the first speech of its kind, in which the play's c horus leader says that the poet has been compelled by real world circumstances to give rational arguments for the merit of his comedic work. From the start of the parabasis, the standards of making comedy, signified in the text by the Attic Greek verb +3 J(8:2 are questioned (v. 631). The chorus leader says that the Athenians have discredited the comic trainer for the following reasons: he makes comedy of the city and insults the people. Rather than challenge this assertion's validity, the chorus leader makes the case that such behavior is "worthy of numerous blessings". The parabasis is an argument for the beneficial effects of the insults levied by this comedian. The chorus leader states that the poet considers himself worthy of blessings in three rega rds, each of which is concerned with the behavior of certain people within the Athenian polity. The chorus leader casts the poet as being able to put an end to each of these behaviors. Here, we will see how the opening scene of the Acharnians actually dram atizes some of the behaviors the parabasis lists as being brought to an end by Aristophanes' comedy. In the

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26 beginning of the Acharnians Dicaeopolis attends a meeting of the Athenian assembly, where he witnesses outrageous behavior on the part of certain c ivil servants of the Athenian democracy. First in the parabasis's list of the beneficial effects of Aristophanes' comedy, the chorus leader claims that the comedy of the poet is causing the Athenians to cease from being utterly deceived by the correspon dences of foreigners (v. 634). The parabasis claims that Aristophanes' representations of the Athenians' poor behaviors should earn him the honor of victory at competition. The opening scene of the Acharnians, set upon the Pnyx of Athens, dramatizes the in ability of the Athenian ambassador to understand properly the messages of Pseudartabas, the Persian ambassador, whose language is that of confused Attic Greek (v. 122). The Athenian ambassador first interprets Pseudartabas's message as a promise that the P ersians will send gold to Athens, but the Persian representative, Pseudartabas himself, mocks the ambassador for his gullibility: Ambassador: Pseudartabas, will you please deliver the message that the king gave you for the people of Athens? Ps eudartabas: Iyartaman exarxs apisona satra. Ambassador: Did you hear what he says? Dicaeopolis: Uh What was it? Ambassador: He says the King is going to send you gold! Gold, tell them about the gold, and make it loud and clear. Pseud artabas: You will not get gold, you wide arse Yawonian. Dicaeopolis: Good grief, that's clear enough!

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27 Ambassador: Why, what does he say? Dicaeopolis: What does he say? He says that us Ionians are wide arsed idiots, that's what, if we expec t to get gold from Persia. Ambassador: No, he said we were going to get gold in wide carts. (vv. 98 108 16 ) Dicaeopolis then responds to the Athenian ambassador's ludicrous interpretation with abusive outrage. ` Dicaeopolis: What of money? You ar e nothing but a great boaster. (v. 109) Dicaeopolis in this line calls the Ambassador a great O -,Nc2 or, "one who boasts," a word which emphasizes the pretense of the Athenian ambassador. The pretense of the ambassador to expect gold from the Persians co rresponds with the parabasis's representation of the Athenian people. The parabasis argues that the Athenians have come to expect compliments from foreigners to such an extent that they misinterpret their meanings (vv. 639 670). Second in the parabasis's list, the chorus leader claims that Aristophanes is bringing an end to the delight that the Athenians take in flattery (v. 635). Again, Aristophanes' claim in the parabasis describs a phenomenon dramatized in the opening of the Acharnians. In the opening scene, Dicaeopolis, for a second time, is depicted as being in a justified position to censure a civil servant of the Athenian political system. In this instance it is the Athenian emissary, Theorus. Theorus has enjoyed a prolonged paid visit to the court of King Sitalces, and he justifies this visit by insisting that the generosity he enjoyed on the visit is exemplary of 16 Aristophanes, Acharnians. The Eleven Comedies. New York. Liveright, 1923.

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28 Athenian greatness (vv. 143). Dicaeopolis, however, regards the visit as a simple trick pulled by the emissary to continue to draw pay (v v. 137). To defend his behavior, Theorus flatters the Athenians with talk of the high regard in which the king holds the city: Crier: Come forward, Theorus, lately returned from the court of King Sitalces! Theorus: Here I am. Dicaeopol is: Here we are the next liar in the series! Theorus: My stay in Thrace would have been much shorter Dicaeopolis: If you hadn't been drawing so much pay for it. Theorus: if it had not been for the blizzards which covered the whole cou ntry and froze all its rivers, just about the time that Theognis was on stage here. During that time I was... drinking with Sitalces. He showed himself your sincere friend, a true lover of Athens, so much so that he was scratching graffiti on walls saying 'Athens is beautiful'. (vv. 134 144, trans. Jeffrey Henderson) This sort of flattery parallels closely the example given in the parabasis. In the parabasis above, the Athenians are portrayed as responding childishly to a similar word o f praise that Athens is "shimmering." Both Dicaeopolis and the chorus leader draw attention to the fact that the Athenians take delight in such forms of praise. In the excerpt above, Dicaeopolis emphasizes that sending an emissary for the gift of praise is an unjustifiable use of public funds.

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29 Thirdly, the claim of the chorus leader that Aristophanes' comedy causes the Athenians to cease from being empty headed citizens parallels the attitude of Dicaeopolis towards the Athenian assemblymen and the chorus of Acharnian elders. Later in this chapter, we will examine the role that Dicaeopolis assumes as educator of the chorus of Acharnians. The protagonist responds to the chorus's rage against him that the Acharnian men do not have the understanding of why he has made peace (v. 289). Dicaeopolis then prepares himself to offer counsel to the uneducated men of the country. The parabasis aims to demonstrate the necessity of that which the comedy of Aristophanes offers, which is a cessation of the Athenians' una cceptable behavior. The final section of the parabasis dramatizes the fame of this particular comic poet. The poet is remarkable not because he is humorous, but because "...he makes it known that the people are democratically governed." By mocking the Athe nians, the poet ensures the success of the Athenian empire through the support of the other Greek cities. It is said that foreigners wish to see an Athenian such as Aristophanes acting boldly. Political possibilities such as a Spartan offer of peace are al so attributed to the fame of Aristophanes, a claim that cannot defensibly be corroborated with specific evidence. Nevertheless, we understand that each of these parabatic claims are part of a representation of Aristophanic comedy as having real world effec ts. When we consider the speech of Dicaeopolis, we will see how the parabasis and Dicaeopolis's defense speech each assert that the sort of comic speech which Aristophanes' comedy employs is designed to follow a specific methodology. Each instance of mo ckery of the behavior of certain Athenians is an instance of to dikaion, or "that which is due." This systematized approach to making comedy is defended by Dicaeopolis on the same grounds as the

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30 chorus leader in the parabasis. The parabasis argues that it is Aristophanes' comic method that qualifies the poet as the uniquely deserving competitor in the comic competition. 1.4 Dicaeopolis' Defense of Comedy At line 384 of the Acharnians after the chorus of Acharnian men agrees to listen to Dicaeopolis's defense of his personal peace treaty, Dicaeopolis visits the house of the tragedian Euripides to prepare himself for his defense. This scene and the infamous speech of Dicaeopolis described above which follows it (vv. 495 556) constitute nearly two hundred lines of the twelve hundred line play. In an intriguing speech, Dicaeopolis draws the audience's attention to the fact that he is appearing in a comic play. Before Dicaeopolis announces his intention to "array myself in guise most piteous", the protagonis t explicitly refers to the play in which he is cast, thereby removing himself from the bounds of it. He comments on the audience's perception of comedy versus tragedy and his own role as a character in a comic plays in which he has been involved. This sect ion of Chapter one will demonstrate the ways in which Dicaeopolis's comments on genre and comic speech lay a foundation for the parabasis's representation of the ideal comic poet, discussed above. Also, we will see how this scene conflates Dicaeopolis as a comic speaker with the comic persona behind the parabasis. After warming up the chorus of Acharnian men with the gusto of tragic accoutrements, Dicaeopolis discusses seriously matters of Athenian state policy. He scolds the Athenians for their handling of the conflict with the Spartans. Dicaeopolis acts as an advisor in the manner described by the parabasis, discussed above. We will review the unfolding of the scene that ends with the levying of Dicaeopolis's advice.

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31 Before he faces the threat of executio n, Dicaeopolis visits the tragedian, Euripides, in order to borrow tragic props and costume. Such preparations, he deems, will cast him in a favorable light in the eyes of his attackers (v. 384). This plot device is a jest on the audience's hypothetical at titudes towards comedy versus their hypothetical attitudes towards tragedy. In his Poetics, Aristotle distinguishes comedy from tragedy by describing the attitudes that audiences take toward that which is presented on stage. In comedy, that which is presen ted on stage is regarded as "ridiculous" by the audience 17 whereas "...the tragic pleasure is that of pity or fear...". 18 The scene in the Acharnians in question derives meaning from the disparity between an ancient audience's attitude toward comedy and tra gedy. 19 For his defense speech, Dicaeopolis seeks Euripides' assistance, calling for the tragic garb of the Euripidean character, Telephus to elicit pity from his attackers. Before he visits the house of Euripides, Dicaeopolis draws attention to the real world of the comic festival in which the Acharnians takes place. With an intriguing choice of words, Dicaeopolis seems to take a perspective outside of the world of the play. Dicaeopolis: Look, now: here's the butcher's block, and here's the man who's ready to make a speech, such as he is. Don't worry: I swear to god I wont buckler myself, but I will speak in defense of the Spartans just what I think. And yet, I'm very apprehensive: I know the way country people act, deeply delighted when so me fraudulent personage eulogizes them and the city, whether truly or falsely; that's how they can be bought 17 Aristotle, Poetics 1449a line 34. 18 Ibid. 1453b line 12. 19 Ralph Rosen, "Aristophanes, Old Comedy, and Greek Tragedy," 2005

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32 and sold all unawares. And I know the hearts of the oldsters too, looking forward only to biting with their ballots. And in my own case I kno w what Cleon did to me because of last year's comedy. He hauled me before the Council, and slandered me, and tongue lashed me with lies, and roared like the Cycloborus, and soaked me in abuse, so that I nearly died in a mephitic miasma of misadvent ure. So now, before I make my speech, please let me array myself in guise most piteous. (vv. 366 384 trans. Jeffrey Henderson) Dicaeopolis here characterizes "country people" in a manner that parallels the claim of the parabasis. They are deeply de lighted by fraudulent personages who praise them and the city of Athens. Dicaeopolis expresses his concern about the reception of his speech by his audience. The context of comedy presents problems to the speaker who looks to tell the truth on the comic st age. Dicaeopolis is aware that his audience may not take him seriously, unless he dresses himself in tragic garb. He wishes to speak truly his mind, but Cleon, a real world politician, has slandered him for last year's comedy. Dicaeopolis implies that a co mic character will not be treated kindly for offering a harsh account of the unreasonable Athenian attitudes that were resulting in continous war with the Peloponnesians. Furthermore, he characterizes himself as participating in last year's comedy. Either Dicaeopolis was also the protagonist of the Babylonians of 426 B.C.E., a play for which we have no such evidence, or the protagonist is here conflating himself with the figure responsible for this production of the Acharnians. For our purposes, Dicaeopolis 's sentiments correspond to those expressed in the opening of the parabasis

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33 discussed above. After he visits the house of Euripides to dress appropriately, Dicaeopolis offers to the chorus the principles behind his decision to speak his mind, although his words might be considered abusive. The problem that both the poet behind the parabasis and Dicaeopolis face is this: to avoid punishment while stating sincerely what they think. Following the speech given above, Dicaeopolis visits the house of Euripides, whom he annoys repeatedly in order to borrow various props from the tragedian's previous tragedies (vv. 402 488). Once armed with the mock tragic garb of Telephus, Dicaeopolis returns to the chorus to give his speech. Dicaeopolis chooses the garb of Telep hus to fit the context of the speech that he is about to give: the speaker must give a speech to justify his private will before the men of his nation 20 It is the parody of Euripides' tragedy, Telephus that infuses the speech with heightened reflexivity. Dicaeopolis makes the decision to incorporate elements of tragic performance for the sake of seriousness. This same concern with being taken seriously is present in the parabasis. In much the same manner as the parabasis, Dicaeopolis' speech offers a cauti onary introduction before delving into comedy's abusive and jestful argumentation. For the first time, Dicaeopolis draws attention to elements of the genre of comedy. He discusses comedy itself, its knowledge and its capabilities: &'()'$*"+'% : & "# ; B"2&*$% F Q 2(.8' T B8c 82"# 8 V !%39 A l 2 d !8#% F 4 2 H B$2,1"#' -/78#2 m /--3 !8. L % M !D-83' %.<7 J (1,2 !"# ? 2 % A 7 [ (1+,#"2 P (8 +, L %.<7 J (1, 4 7 m ( U -/53 (8#2 [ U 2 (1+,#, (/ (vv. 497 501) 20 Heath, M. (1987) Euripides' Telephus" Classical Quarterly, 37

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34 Dicaeopolis: Do not begrudge me, men who are spectating, if, being a beggar, I am about to speak about the city while making comedy. For even comedy knows what is just. And on the one hand I will say horrifying things, but on the other hand just things. (vv. 497 501, the translation is my own) Here Dicaeopolis claims that comedy knows what is "just." In his speech, he will speak about the city and he will say both horrifying things and just things. By including kai in his statement (translated as "even" in the phrase "even comedy knows what is just above), Dicaeopolis makes the claim that comedy itself has knowledge of just things in addition to the genre being parodied. In the same manner as tragedy, comedy speaks about what is just by bringing to light horrifying things. Dicaeopolis chooses to discuss to dikaia "that which is due," or "that which is just." He politely warns the audience that a discussion of "those things which are due" calls for a discussion of deina, those things which are horrifying." The term dikaion conveys a sense of rig hteousness and lawfulness. Dicaeopolis creates a parallel between those things which are terrible and those things which are due. In keeping with Dicaeopolis' apprehension at having to speak before such an apprehending audience, deina suggests the difficul ty an audience would have in facing those things which are due. In the continuance of his speech, Dicaeopolis deals specifically and intimately with recent Athenian history. Dicaeopolis represents further a comic poet who must contend with the disapprov al of others. The following lines have given rise to scholarly debate on the problem of

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35 who played Dicaeopolis 21 The speaker's argument for his own right to speak reflects Aristophanes' larger defense of his work within the genre of comedy: Dicaeopoli s: This time Cleon will not accuse me of defaming the city in the presence of foreigners; for we are by ourselves; it's the Lenaian competition, and no foreigners are here yet; neither tribute nor troops have arrived from the allied cities. This t ime we are by ourselves, clean hulled for I count the resident foreigners as the bran of our populace. Myself, I hate the Spartans vehemently; and may Poseidon, the god at Tanairum, send them an earthquake and shake all their houses down on the m; for I too have had vines cut down. And yet I ask for only friends are present for this speech why do we blame the Spartans for this? For it was men of ours I do not say the city, remember that, I do not say the city but some trouble making e xcuses for men, misminted, worthless, brummagem, and foreign made, who began denouncing the Megarians' little cloaks. (vv. 502 519 trans. Jeffrey Henderson ) Here, the character Dicaeopolis prepares his audience for the abuse to come. He qualifies his statements so as to avoid offending the entire audience. While doing so, he includes himself 21 Bailey, C. 1936. "Who Played Dicaeopolis?" In Greek Poetry and Life: Essays Presented to Gilbert Murray on his seventieth birthday 231 234 Bowie, E. L. 1988. "Who is Dic aeopolis?" JHS 108: 183 185. My view agrees with that of Bowie's. The best one can say using existing evidence is that Aristophanes included these references in the speeches of Dicaeopolis to tantalize his audience's interest in the real persona of the mas ked figure appearing before them.

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36 proudly among the men of Athens, saying that even he too has suffered losses at the hands of the Spartans. Yet, it is important that there remains a target who con tinues to be offended: those "trouble making excuses for men," anyone of whom might very well have been sitting near to any given audience member at the original performance. This sense of inclusion within the entire audience heightens the immediacy of the speech. From there, Dicaeopolis goes on to narrate sarcastically the outbreak of the Peloponnesian War. His narration follows closely the narrative offered by Thucydides. Pericles' severe law making restricted Athenian relations with the Megarians to su ch an extent that the Megarians petitioned the Spartans for assistance (1.39, 67, 144). Dicaeopolis suggests that the same measures taken by the Spartans who intervened on behalf of the Megarians would have been taken by the Athenians on behalf of one of t heir own allies: Dicaeopolis: Someone will say, "they [the Spartans] shouldn't have!" But tell me, what should they have? Look, if some Spartan had denounced and sold a Seriphian puppy imported in a rowboat, would you have sat quietly by in y our abodes? Far from it! No indeed; you'd have instantaneously dispatched three hundred ships... (vv. 540 546, trans. Jeffrey Henderson) Dicaeopolis here says that the Athenians themselves would have done exactly what their hated rival, the Sparta ns, would have done. Therefore, the Athenians act disgracefully by blaming the Spartans for their actions. If we revisit the beginning of his speech, we read that Dicaeopolis says that, while making comedy, he will say both horrifying things and just thing s.

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37 To be reduced by means of representation to the level of his hated rival, any Athenian must have been incensed. However, Dicaeopolis insists that the entire Athenian city is not to blame so much as certain individuals. Dicaeopolis' speech becomes a call for vigilance among the Athenian people rather than an abuse against the entire Athenian city state. It is the role of Aristophanic Old Comedy to represent horrifying people doing horrifying things, not for the sake of itself, but for the sake of due crit icism. This criticism serves as advice to the Athenian audience at large. The parabasis claims that this sort of advice should earn Aristophanes distinction among comic poets. The defense speech of Dicaeopolis anticipates the chorus leader's defense of th e comic poet in the parabasis of the Acharnians Dicaeopolis explicitly refers to the fact that he is making a speech within a comedy, that comedy knows what is right, and that he will not be deterred from speaking. Each of these claims are brought to the fore in the parabasis. When we consider Dicaeopolis's speech, we see how the speaker places the comedian's work within the wider realm of Athenian society in the same manner as the parabasis. In each instance, the performer draws attention to the immediacy of the play in which he is appearing. He argues that the comedy of Aristophanes contains certain benefits that it can offer its audience. In the following chapters we will see how the later plays of Aristophanes build upon the precedent of the Acharnians to create a chronologically consistent representation of the comic poet. The program for comedy outlined by Dicaeopolis and the chorus leader in the Acharnians is explicitly referenced and expanded upon, and the esteem of the personified poet is further de fended for his approach to the art of comedy.

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38 Chapter Two 2.1 Keeping the Audience in Mind In Chapter One, we examined the text of the Acharnians, focusing on the play's parabasis and the defense speech of Dicaeopolis in particular. We discussed how th e parabasis offers a representation of the poet as a beneficent adviser to the Athenian people, and how the speech of Dicaeopolis reinforces certain ideas regarding the approach of Aristophanes to his art of comic drama. Dicaeopolis explicitly states that although he is appearing in a comedy, he feels justified in expressing his views on serious matters of state. In this chapter, we will examine how Aristophanes' other early plays further characterize the persona of the comic dramatist. A chronological surv ey will demonstrate how each parabasis contributes to a developing representation of the poet. We will focus on those characterizations of the poet which represent his attitude towards the genre of comedy, his Athenian audience, and the actual work of the comic poet more broadly. The early parabases, beginning with that of the Acharnians (425 B.C.E.) form a dialogue between poet and audience. The choral speaker announces that the poet is performing in the comic competition and that it is the poet's conce rn that the audience award him first prize. The six parabases, which make special mention of the poet, create a persona about whom the audience is able to form ideas. In the parabasis of the Acharnians examined above and in the parabases of the plays which we will examine in this chapter, the poet is described as one who keeps his audience in mind during the composition of his plays. The poet's awareness of and

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39 concern for his audience is represented as being integral to the development of his material. A p rominent thread, which we will discuss in this chapter, is the manner in which the parabases characterize the poet as having composed his comedy for the sake of his audience. Six of the surviving eleven plays attributed to Aristophanes feature a traditi onal parabasis that makes reference to the poet of the work. The plays whose parabases are primarily concerned with characterizing the poet are the earliest of the surviving plays in the body of Aristophanic comedy. In this chapter, we will examine the ear liest four plays ( Acharnians 425 B.C., Knights 424 B.C., Wasps 422 B.C., Peace 421 B.C.). The parabases of these early plays offer characterizations of the poet in anapestic meter. Aristophanes' middle and later works also used anapestic meter in choral so ngs that make no mention of the poet 22 Still, it should be noted that there are consistencies between the two parabatic forms. In both forms, the chorus refers to the play as something that is performed for the audience. The audience is always mentioned in both forms of the parabasis, whether or not the poet is. Both forms of the parabasis offers the viewer an outside perspective of the play. In both forms, the audience is characterized as something of which the players are aware. In each of the early pa rabases, the poet's attitude toward his comic work is represented as that of an artist concerned, aware, and respectful of his craft. Additionally, the comic poet is characterized as an artist who is willing to speak about the most important issues of his day. This specification of Aristophanes' comedy was first demonstrated in Dicaeopolis' speech, reviewed in Chapter One. There, the protagonist warns his audience that he will speak of terrifying things 22 The parabases of the early plays listed above can be distinguished from the "anapests" of plays such as the Birds (414 B.C.E), Lysistrata (411 B.C.E.) and Thesmophoriazusae (411 B.C.E.). These early parabases refer to th emselves as anapests, because they were delivered in anapestic meter. The Birds features a choral interlude (678 680) in which the chorus of birds declares to the audience that they will launch into anapests, but their speech does not make any mention of t he poet.

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40 as well as just things. The parabases describe what th e poet is doing for the good of the audience. It is this good action, the parabases argue, that should earn the poet the prize at comic competition. This chapter will show how the parabases of Aristophanes developed consistently over time to offer a reliab le characterization of the poet. First, we will begin with the parabasis of the Knights 424 B.C.E. which emphasizes the poet's respect for the art of making comedy. Then, we will examine the parabases of the Knights, the Wasps, and the Peace to see the commonalities in their representations of Aristophanes' program for making comedy. The parabases of these plays each defend the poet for his abuse of certain figures. They represent the comedian in a heroic light for his attacks against monstrous and inhum an figures who are corr upting the citizens of Athens. 2.2 Aristophanes' Respect for Comedy In this section, we will see how the parabasis of the Knights (424 B.C.E.) further develops the representation of the poet introduced in the Acharnians (425 B.C.E.). In the Acharnians Aristophanes represents the content of his comedy as being necessary and just, and the play's parabasis represents his comedy's practical implications. The parabasis of the Knights

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41 emphasizes Aristophanes' broader awareness of the history of comic drama. This parabasis dramatizes the rise and fall of three comic poets whose careers preceded that of Aristophanes. Aristophanes's acknowledgement of the Athenian audience's eventual disapproval of these poets demonstrates his awarene ss of the difficulty of producing successful comedies. The parabasis distinguishes Aristophanes for his acknowledgement of the temperament of the Athenian audience. Although the parabasis does not state exactly why Aristophanes' comedy is superior to that of his predecessors, it does express the poet's refusal to make mindless comedy. In this way, the parabasis of the Knights adds to the characterization of the poet as one who regards comedy as a serious undertaking. The scholastic records show that a ce rtain Callistratus was the producer of Aristophanes' first three plays: the Banqueters (427 B.C.E.), the Babylonians (426 B.C.E.), and the Acharnians (425 B.C.E.) 23 The parabasis of the Knights (424 B.C.E.) states that this production marks the first time that the poet has requested a chorus in his own name. The parabasis of the Knights implies that although Aristophanes did not request the choruses of previous plays in his own name, it should be known that he was the poet of those works. The choral speaker explains that Aristophanes chose to produce his earliest plays under another's name because he believed that he must first successfully fulfill his duty as a comic poet. In the parabasis, the chorus of Knights speaks on behalf of the poet, referring to themselves as their dramatic personae as members of the equestrian class of Athens. To begin, they explain why the poet is worthy to receive the honor of having the equestrian class speak for him. The chorus claims that they speak for the poet because he h ates the same people that they 23 Stephen Halliwell, "Aristophanes' Apprenticeship," Oxford Readings in Aristophanes ed. Erich Segal, Oxford University Press, 1996, p. 98.

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42 do (Ar. Knights v. 510). We will review later in this chapter how this element of the parabasis ties the plot of the Knights and the parabasis together, thereby characterizing Aristophanes as being genuine and reliable. After explaining why the poet has earned the right of their representation, the chorus of equestrian men state that "he [the poet] has bid us [the chorus] to make this matter clear for you [the audience]" (v. 514). The matter in question is the poet's decision to produce a comedy under his own name. The parabasis explains that Aristophanes refrained from doing so earlier because of his respect for the great challenge the undertaking presents. Here, we will review the parabasis of the Knights The translation is my own. !"#$% : 8 V /2 %#' O 2 K % ? 2 O .9,132 +3 J ("(#()*+,-"' > R b 2)7+,N82 -/5"2%,' d !$ !. A % A B/,%."2 !,.,0 M 2,# Y + ] 2 ;,I-3' d %<982 %"I%"< : 2 W 2 ( F Q 5#D' 4 *B F = !"#$%&' %# %" Z Y %" Z > : 2 #*8 : %" n %8 -/78#2 % [ (1+,#, +, L 7822,1 3' !. A % A 2 %<; ? 93.8 : +, L % K 2 4 .#c-$2 o ( U B,< )N8#2 G ? 2 ;$*#2 !"--" Z Y % e !."*#D2%,' +, L 0,*,21N8#2 C Y 9 L !)-,# 9". A 2 V %"1$ +,B F p ,<%D2 > R G : 2 4 +/-8<8 ;.)*,# !8. L %"I%"< ;$* L 7 [ k 2 K Y 9 G F O 2"1,' %" W %" !8!"2B m (#,%.108#2 O -[ 2" 1 N32 +3 J ("(#(,*+,-1,2 8 P 2,# 9,-8!c%,%"2 d .7"2 k !)2%32 : !"-? 2 7 [ ( K !8#.,*)2%32 Y % K 2 q -17"#' 9,.1*,*B,# : G R %8 !)-,# (#,7#72c*+32 4 !8%81"<' % K 2 ;I*#2 r 2%,' +, L %" Z !."%/."<' % ? 2 !"#$% ? 2 s % e 7&. t !."(#(D2%,' :

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43 %" W %" U 2 8 V ( m s !,B8 u)72$' s %, : !"-#, : +,%#"I*,#' v !-8 : *%, 9". ? 2 % ? 2 O 2%#!)-32 21+$' d *%$*8 %."!, : : !)*,' ( F G : 2 ;32 [ T 8 L +, L ^)--32 +, L !%8.<71N32 +, L -<(1N32 +, L ^$21N32 +, L 0,!%D 82"' 0,%.,981"#' Y + 4 5&.+8*82 O -[ %8-8<% ? 2 4 L 7&.3' Y 7 [ 4 ; F S 0$' 4 580-& B$ !.8*0I%$' w 2 %# %" W *+c!%8#2 O !8-81;B$ : 8 P %, i.,%12"< 8 2$ /2"' v !"-e x 8I*,' !"% F 4 !,12 J (# [ % ? 2 O ;8? 2 !8(132 d ..8# +, L % M *%)*83' !,.,*I.32 4 ;D.8# % [ (. W +, L % [ !-,%)2"<' +, L %" Z 4 9B." Z !."B8-I 2"<' : y *,# ( F Y + z 2 4 2 5< !"*1 J !K 2 {3." : *<+"!/(#-8 ,' +, L %/+%"28' 8 Y !,-) 32 \ 232 :' \ %3' ` 2B$*82 4 +8 : 2"' 2<2 L ( F G 8 : Y % A 2 = ? 2%8' !,.,-$." W 2% F Y + 4 -88 : %8 4 +!#!%"<* ? 2 % ? 2 b -/+%.32 +, L %" W %D2"< Y +/% F 4 2D2%"' % ? 2 B F k "2# ? 2 (#,9,*+"<* ? 2 : O -[ 7/.32 l 2 !8.#/..8# h *!8. i"22 R *%/;,2"2 U 2 d 932 j "2 (1^ | ( F O !"-3-c' v 2 9. M 2 (# [ % [ !."%/.,' 21+,' !128#2 4 2 % e !.<%,281 J +, L K -$.8 : 2 O -[ B8 R *B,# -#!,. A 2 !,. [ % e {#"2I* J g ,' ( U i.)%$' q .7 [ G ? 2 b 2/*98%" +, L *%<;8-#7 "I' v O A #+. R (,!)2$' G R O .#*%1N32 O !/!8 !82 O A +., 0"%)%"< *%D ,%"' )%%32 O *%8#"%)%,' 4 !#2"1,' : 9" j %"' /2%"# D2"' O 2%&.+8# %"% U U 2 !1!%32 %"% U ( F Y 91 %, W % F q ..3( ? 2 (#/%.#082 O 81 +, L !. A %"I%"#*#2 d ;,*+82

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44 4 ./%$2 9. M 2,# !. ? %, 782/*B,# !. L 2 !$(,-1"#' 4 !#98#.8 : 2 + y % F 4 2%8 W B82 !. J .,%8 W *,# +, L %" Z O 2/ "<' (#,B. M *,# + y %, +<08.2 R 2 Y % A 2 p ,<% e %"I%32 j 2 \ 28+, !)2%32 %# *3;."2#+ ? +" Y + O 2"&%3' 4 *!$(&*,' 4 ;-<).8# X .8*B F Y % e !"Z % A x DB#"2 !,.,!/ ^,% F 4 ; F } 2(8+, +c!,#' (vv. 503 550) Chorus: But, you all, devo te your attention to our anapests, oh ones who have already made trials of every sort of art yourselves. If any man, any comic poet of earlier times, were to compel us to step forward to recite lines in front of the theatre, not easily would he ha ve succeeded. But now there is a poet who's worthy, because he hates the same people as we and dares to say that which is due, and, in the manner befitting his lineage, advances against the giant Typhos and his whirlwind. As to the matter that he says has perplexed many of you standing before him and has caused you all to ask eagerly why he did not long ago request a chorus of his own, he has bid us to make this matter clear for you. For the man says that it's not from lack of sense that he has come to put off this event, but rather from the belief that the art of training a comic chorus is the most demanding work of all. For, while many have made attempts at the favor of the muse, she has indulged only a few. For a long time, the poet has been discerning that the temperament of you

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45 all lasts only a year at a time, and that, as soon as poets of earlier times come to old age, you abandon them. He has remained well aware of that which happened to Magnes as soon as his gra y hairs came in, the one who erected the most trophies of victory over the choruses of his competitors. Although spewing forth every manner of intonation for you, from playing strings with his fingers, to flapping his wings like a bird, to singing li ke a Lydian, to buzzing like a gall wasp, and even to dying himself and acting like a frog, he was not able to satisfy. And while still coming to full old age, contrary to the time of his youth, he was thrown out as an old man, because his ability to mock had left him behind. And our poet was keeping Cratinus in mind as well, who, after having thrived once on great praise, used to run through the smooth plains sweeping oaks, broad leaved trees, and even hateful men from their stable positions, roots and all. Indeed there was nothing topical to sing at symposium except for "The Fig Sandaled Slanderer" and "The Crafters of the Well Fashioned Hymns," to such an extent did that man blossom. But seeing him now rambling nonsense, you feel no pit y at the fact that his shining pegs have fallen out, no longer to keep his lyre in tune and thus its pitches are split. As nothing but an old man he wastes away, like worthless Konnas, clinging onto a withered crown, dying of thirst, even though he deserves, on account of his former victories, to drink free in the town hall, and, instead of being made to look the fool, he should

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46 be made to sit in the theatre anointed with oil right next to Dionysus. And such awful wrath did Crates incur from yo u all and such abuses, he, who, after serving you an inexpensive breakfast, would send you home, always massaging the wittiest ideas into cakes with his ringing voice. And this man just barely held out, at times falling out of favor, and then at time s not. In dread of these examples did our poet delay again and again, and, in addition to these concerns, he has long been of the belief that it is necessary for a man first to become a rower before he tries his hands at the stern of the ship, and then from there it is necessary for him to assume command at the bow to examine the winds, and then and only then may he act as a helmsman himself. And so, for respect of all this, that he sensibly refrained from leaping mindlessly onto the sc ene to play the fool, raise for him a great surging clamor, conduct an eleven oar applause that would serve the Lenaia well, so that the poet may depart in good spirits after performing in accordance with his design, beaming with joy to the top of his shining head. (Aristophanes, Knights vv. 503 550) The parabasis of the Knights characterizes the poet's mental preparation for the task of producing his comic dramas. Aristophanes' mindful consideration of real world circumstances is the focus of the speech. The parabasis' long and humorous characterizations of preceding comic poets all serve to demonstrate the poet's knowledge of the circumstances in which comic poets must perform. The poet is represented as being aware of the temperament of t he Athenian

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47 a udience. Its temperament is always liable to change abruptly and constantly (v. 517). Since the poet is aware of this, he has approached the making of his comedy with caution and prudence. The parabasis offers a long list of exemplary comic po ets who eventually suffered at the hands of the Athenian audience late in their careers. The choral speaker includes the poet among his predecessors who once enjoyed great fame, but also distinguishes him as the one who is most concerned with producing wor thwhile comedy (v. 545). The careers of the successful comedians of the past are offered as evidence for the harsh treatment comedians suffer at the hands of the Athenian audience. The parabasis emphasizes the difficulty of making comedy by highlighting the lows to which Aristophanes's predecessors have stooped to please their audiences. Aristophanes clearly mocks the poet Magnes for dressing up like a frog. In so doing, he distances himself from such behavior (vv. 523). The parabasis's abuse of Magnes, C rates and Cratinus serve to illustrate the explicit argument of the speech. The final request is explicitly clear. And so, for respect of all this, that [the poet] sensibly refrained from leaping mindlessly onto the scene to play the fool, raise for him a great surging clamor, conduct an eleven oar applause that would serve the Lenaia well..." (vv. 544 548). The parabasis creates a scenario in which the poet's respect for both his audience and his comedy should earn for him the prize of victory.

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48 2.3 Confrontation and Comedy In Chapter One, we demonstrated how the text of the Acharnians represents the ideal comedian as one who follows a particular system. He represents things that are terrible, seeing that they are justified. These representations are those of the behaviors of real people within and without the city of Athens. In this section, we will review the thread through Aristophanes' parabases that justifies the poet's mockery of real individuals. We will begin with the abusive characterizati on of the statesman Cleon in the Knights. In the parabasis of the Knights the poet's choice to "advance against" his target is described as a noble task. The play is devoted entirely to an abusive representation of the Athenian statesman. Then, we will co ntinue on to the parabases of the Wasps (422 B.C.E.) and the Peace (421 B.C.E.), each of which expand upon the defense of Aristophanes' comedy of abuse. Aristophanes' Knights (424 B.C.E.) bears the name of the group of characters who compose its chorus, just as the chorus of the Acharnians (425 B.C.E.) bears the name of its chorus of Acharnian elders. The plot of the Knights dramatizes a contemporaneous social issue in much the same way as the Acharnians In chapter one, we discussed how the plot of the A charnians dramatizes certain issues pertaining to the Peloponnesian war. In the Knights, Aristophanes dramatizes a turmoil among the city's political leaders, who are characterized in the play as servants of "old master Demos." In the Knights the Athenian democracy itself is personified as a character, "old master Demos." A new slave, the Paphlagonian, has emerged onto the scene to flatter and charm old master Demos for his own personal aims. Aristophanes

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49 derisively caricatures Cleon as a selfish Paphlagon ian tanner who is taking advantage of old master Demos. Although Cleon may be the play's primary target, old master Demos is also personified as a pathetically inept old man. The play's opening soliloquy exemplifies the harsh characterizations of each of t hese real world figures. Slave: I will begin then. We have a very brutal master, a perfect glutton for beans, and most bad tempered; it's Demos of the Pnyx, an intolerable old man and half deaf. The beginning of last month he bought a slave, a Paphlagonian tanner, an arrant rogue, the incarnation of calumny. This man of leather knows his old master thoroughly; he plays the fawning cur, flatters, cajoles, wheedles, and dupes him at will with little scraps of leavings, which he allows him to get. "Dear Demos," he will say, "try a single case and you will have done enough; then take your bath, eat, swallow and devour; here are three obols." Then the Paphlagonian filches from one of us what we have prepared and makes a present of it to our old man. The other day I had just kneaded a Spartan cake at Pylos the cunning rogue came behind my back, sneaked it and offered the cake, which was my invention, in his own name. He keeps us at a distance and suffers none but hims elf to wait upon the master; when Demos is dining, he keeps close to his side with a thong in his hand and puts the orators to flight. He keeps singing oracles to him, so that the old man now thinks of

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50 nothing but the Sibyl. Then, when he sees him thoroughly obfuscated, he uses all his cunning and piles up lies and calumnies against the household; then we are scourged and the Paphlagonian runs about among the slaves to demand contributions with threats and gathers them in with both h ands. (vv. 40 69, Aristophanes' Knights trans. Eugene O'Neil) Upon reading the excerpt above, one might recall the characterizations of the Athenians offered in the parabasis of the Acharanians, which we reviewed in chapter one. The old master Demos fal ls victim to flattery, just as the Athenians do in the parabasis of the Acharnians (vv. 634 638). In the Knights, the Paphlagonian is a flatterer and old master Demos indulges in his flattery. Meanwhile, the other servants of the Demos are suffering as the y are forced to contribute to the conceits of the Paphlagonian. This picture of the democracy is a parable that dramatizes the "special position" of the Athenian statesman Cleon, a man of Paphlagonian descent, who allegedly enjoyed special favor in the dem ocracy after the death of Pericles in 429 B.C.E. until Cleon's death in 422 B.C.E.. Cleon first appears in the historical record in the Mytilenean Debate of 427 B.C.E., as recorded by Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War 24 There in Thucydides' hist ory, Cleon is described as the most violent man in Athens. 25 Jeffrey Henderson, in his edition of the plays of Aristophanes, states that this production of the Knights (424 B.C.E.) is actually the fulfillment of a promise made by the chorus of Aristophanes previous play, the Acharnians (425 B.C.E.) 26 For his case, Henderson quotes a brief remark made by a choral member in the Acharnians. The choral member says that he hates 24 Thucydides, History of the Peloponnesian War 3.37 40 25 Ibid. 3.36 26 Jeffrey Henderson, Aristophanes (Vol. I) Cambridge, Massachusettes, Harvard College 1998, p. 220

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51 Dicaeopolis even more than Cleon, Cleon who he "...intend[s] to cut up as shoeleath er for the Knights" (vv. 301 302 Acharnians. ) In chapter one, we briefly touched upon the presence of Cleon in the text of the Acharnians. I reviewed this real world figure's appearance in the text to elucidate how Aristophanes dramatizes the real world im plications of his comedy. Dicaeopolis states that although he may be punished by people like Cleon for speaking out, he will speak out nevertheless because the things he has to say are just (Ar. Acharnians vv. 377 381). The chorus of the Knights is compo sed of men of the equestrian class of Athens. In the Knights, these men are depicted as being at odds with the Paphlagonian, or Cleon In the very same manner as the chorus of the Acharnians, the chorus of Knights rushes onto the stage in a fit of violence demanding that the Paphlagonian be assaulted. In the chorus's first speech, the Paphlagonian is characterized as a monstrous thing. Chorus: Hit him, hit the sc oundrel, the harrier of the horse troops, the tax farmer, the chasm and Charybdis of rapac ity, the scoundrel, the scoundrel! I'll keep calling him that, because he acts the scoundrel many times each day. Come on, hit him, pursue him, shake him up, mix him up, loathe him as we do, give out with a war cry as you attack him! (Ar. Knights t rans. Jeffrey Henderson, vv. 247 252) The Knights abounds with imagery of the Paphlagonian's monstrosity. The opening speech of the slave provided above is only the first example. The agon in particular discredits Cleon's personality (vv. 756 835). Cleon' s opponent in the agon, the uneducated Sausage seller

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52 represents the statesman's participation in Athenian affairs with physical allegories. For instance, Cleon is described as "swallowing" the proceeds from the city's lawsuits (v. 825). Cleon is also depi cted in the agon as being a rapacious pederast (vv. 878 880). Representations of this sort pervade Aristophanes' work beyond the Knights and they are integral to the poet's comedy. Jeffrey Henderson writes that the impact of Aristophanic satire and abuse relies on the use of obscenity 27 In the following section, we will review Aristophanes' numerous defenses for his grotesque representations of real figures. Aristophanes justifies his abusive representations of real world figures in the parabases of the Kn ights the Wasps (422 B.C.E.), and the Peace (421 B.C.E.). Each justification remains consistent with the programmatic statements reviewed in chapter one above. We will see the parabases of the Wasps and the Peace argue that Aristophanes's representations are justified because they are not excessive. Each abusive representation is defended as being proportional to the blame which that figure deserves. 2.4 The Comedian as Hero In the parabasis, the chorus of Knights speaks on behalf of the poet, and th ey refer to themselves as their dramatic personae as members of the equestrian class of Athens. To begin, they explain why the poet is worthy to receive the honor of having the equestrian class speak for him. The chorus claims that they speak for the poet because he hates the same people that they do. This element of the parabasis ties the plot of the Knights and the parabasis together. The 27 Henderson, Jeffrey. The Maculate Muse: Obscene Language in Attic Comedy New York: Oxford UP, 1991 p. xv.

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53 equestrian class has agreed to represent the poet in the parabasis because he aims to disparage Cleon in the Knights In the defenses presented in the parabases of the Wasps ( 422 B.C.E.) and the Peace (421 B.C.E.), the poet's ability to educate is identified with his ability to mock. Ultimately, this identification is argued to be the most worthy quality of the poet's co medy. In the Acharnians Dicaeopolis states that horrifying things are the things which he feels it is right for him to discuss in his speech (Ar. Ach. vv. 497 501). Dicaeopolis is aware that his opinions regarding the Athenian agression against the Sparta ns will likely incur rage from some. Nevertheless, he feels that the words he has to say are justly deserved. The Acharnians and the Knights each feature parabases that pit Aristophanes the comedian against certain people. In the Acharnians the parabasi s says that Aristophanes is confronting the complaints of certain hateful individuals who are angry that his comedy makes fun of the people and the city (Ar. Ach. vv. 630 632). In a similar dramatization of interpersonal conflict, the chorus of equestrians in the Knights identifies itself with the enmities held by the poet towards certain people. The chorus of Knights says that they are only stepping forward on behalf of the poet because he hates the same people as they do. In the parabases of the Wasps (42 2 B.C.E.) and the Peace (421 B.C.E.), the same sentiment is expressed: Aristophanes must defend himself because he dares to mock the most terrible (and, therefore, the most deserving) targets within the Athenian city state. The parabasis of the Acharnians argues that those indviduals whom Aristophanes targets actually stand to gain the most from his representations. Chorus ...For [the Persian king] said that these men have become

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54 far better men, and in war are far likelier to prevail keeping this poet as adviser. (Ar. Ach. vv. 650 651) In both the Wasps (422 B.C.E.) and Peace (421 B.C.E.), Aristophanes argues that he means to improve the city by aiming his poetry at certain targets. In the parabasis of the Wasps the chorus leader gives an exten ded account of what I will call Aristophanes' "comic politeness". The meaning of this phrase rests upon the parabatic arguments that the comedy of Aristophanes mocks only figures and issues that are deserving of mockery. Aristophanes claims to choose his m aterial according to this rule. In the parabasis of the Wasps the chorus leader credits the poet for targeting the inhuman among the human. The parabasis of the Wasps figuratively jests that Aristophanes' comedy does not make fun of men who are really men but only of men who are monstrous: !"#$% : Y ( F %8 !. ? %D2 7 F z .58 (#()*+8#2 O 2B.c!"#' ;&* F 4 !#B/*B,# O -F ~ .,+-/"<' q .7&2 %#2 F d 932 %" : *# 871*%"#' 4 !#98#.8 : 2 B.,*/3' 5<*% [ 8 Y B Z O F O .9 M Y % e % e +,.9,.D("2%# 6 (8#2D%,%,# U 2 O F q ;B, ? 2 iI22$' O +% : 28' d -, !"2 p +,% A 2 ( U +I+J +8;,-, L +"-)+32 V 35" /232 4 -#9 ? 2%" !8. L % K 2 +8;,-&2 ;32 K 2 ( F 8 P 982 9,.)(.,' r -8B."2 %8%"+<1,' ;c+$' ( F q &2 a, 1,' r .98#' O !-I%"<' !.3+% A 2 ( U +, &-"< %"#" W %"2 V ( m 2 %/.,' @ ;$*#2 (81*,' +,%,(3."( "+ M *,# O -F G U G ? 2 d %# +, L 2<2 L !"-8 8 : : ;$*12 %8 8% F Y % A 2

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55 %" : b !#)-"#' 4 !#98#. M *,# !/.<*#2 +, L %" : !<.8%" : *#2 %" Z !,%/.,' % F z 79"2 2I+%3. +, L %" Z !)!!"<' O !/!2#7"2 +,%,+-#2D 82"1 % F 4 L %, : +"1%,#' 4 L %" : *#2 O !.)7 "*#2 G ? 2 O 2%3 "*1,' +, L !."*+-&*8#' +, L ,.%<.1,' *<28+D--32 h *% F O 2,!$( R 2 (8# ,12"2%,' !"--" Z C % A 2 !"-/ ,.9"2 %"#D2( F 8 G .D2%8' O -851+,+"2 % M 9c.,' % M *(8 +,B,.%&2 !/.<*#2 +,%,!." @ ("%8 +,#2"%)%,#' *!81.,2% F Y % A 2 (#,2"1,#' o G A %" W K 72 ? 2,# +,B,. ? G 8 : 4 !"#&*,% F O 2,-(8 : : +,1%"# *!/2(32 !D-F 4 L !"--" : r 2<*#2 % A 2 {#D2<*"2 K !c!"% F O 812"2 F d !$ %"I%32 +3 J (#+ [ $(/2 F O +" W *,# %" W %" U 2 j 2 d *B F G : 2 V *9. A 2 %" : K 72" W *#2 !,.,9. M = ( U !"#$% K Y ( U 2 981.32 !,. [ %" : *# *";" : 282D #*%,# 8 V !,.8-,I232 %" Z O 2%#!)-"<' % K 2 4 !12"#,2 5<2/%.#^82 (Ar. Wasps, vv.1029 1050) Chorus: From the very outset of the poet's dramatic career, he has disdained to assail those who were men, but with a courage worthy of Heracles himself he att acked the most formidable monsters, and at the beginning went straight for that beast with the sharp teeth, with the terrible eyes that flashed lambent fire like those of Cynna, surrounded by a hundred lewd flatterers who spittle licked him to his heart's content; he had a voice like a roaring torrent, the stench of a seal, the unwashed balls of a Lamia, and the ass of a camel. Our poet did not tremble at the

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56 sight of this horrible monster, nor did he dream of gaining him over; and again this very day he is fighting for your good. Last year besides, he attacked those pale, shivering and feverish beings who strangled your fathers in the dark, throttled your grandfathers, and who, lying in the beds of the most inoffensive, piled up against them lawsuits, summonses and witnesses to such an extent, that many of them flew in terror to the Polemarch for refuge. Such is the champion you have found to purify your country of all its evil, and last year you betrayed him, when he so wed the most novel ideas, which, however, did not strike root, because you did not understand their value; notwithstanding this, he swears by Bacchus, the while offering him libations that none ever heard better comic verses. It is a disgrace t o you not to have caught their drift at once; as for the poet, he is none the less appreciated by the enlightened judges. He shivered his oars in rushing boldly forward to board his foe. (Ar. Wasps vv. 1029 1050.) This parabasis characterizes Ar istophanes as a courageous hero. To compliment the gruesome and overwhelming characterization of his targets, Aristophanes is said to have resisted the impulse to fear them. Moreover, the poet overcomes his fear not for his own sake, but for the sake of hi s Athenian audience. The parabasis of the Wasps includes a series of references to Aristophanes' recent works. The first section refers to the winning effort of the Knights which earned first prize in

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57 competition. The latter half of the parabasis, howe ver, dramatizes Aristophanes's heroic feats in a play that suffered defeat. This defeat, we may assume, was handed to the original version of the Clouds produced in 423 B.C.. In reference both to one play's victory and to one's defeat, Aristophanes is rep resented as taking the offensive. The verb 4 !#98#.8 : 2 describes Aristophanes as "putting his hand to," or "attacking" %" : *# 871*%"#' "the most lofty" of adversaries. This representation of Aristophanes repeats a characterization of the poet presented in the parabasis of the Knights. There, the cho rus of equestrians describe Aristophanes' battle with a monstrous entity in similar language The monster to which the parabasis of the Knights refers is the Paphlagonian, Cleon. Below, the parabasis of the Knights casts the target of Aristophanes' abuse a s a mythical monster: Chorus: But now there is a poet who's worthy, because he hates the same people as we and dares to say that which is due, and, in the manner befitting his lineage, advances against the giant Typhos and his whirlwind. (Ar. Knights vv. 509 511) The parabases of both the Wasps and the Peace defend themselves by referring to certain elements of the Knights. A continuity of self representation can be traced through the parabases of these plays. In the parabasis of the Wasps A ristophanes refers to the defeat of the original Clouds in the previous year, 423 B.C.E. (Ar. Wasps vv. 1037 1041). Although the play was defeated, the parabasis of the Wasps describes the play as another example of Aristophanes' "putting his hand to" (th is time in the aorist tense: 4 !#98#. M *,# ) a monstrous element of Athenian

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58 society (vv. 1041). In spite of his efforts, the Athenian audience failed to appreciate Aristophanes' work (v. 1044). In the parabasis of the Peace certain words match verbatim t he text of the Wasps Although a certain rhythmic spout in the parabasis of the Peace one that depicts particularly intense imagery, is an exact duplication of the text in the Wasps the speech is recast from the third person to the first person. Below is the section from the Wasps: Chorus: From the very outset of the poet's dramatic career, he has disdained to assail those who were men, but with a courage worthy of Heracles himself he attacked the most formidable monsters, and at the beginning went straight for that beast with the sharp teeth, with the terrible eyes that flashed lambent fire like those of Cynna, surrounded by a hundred lewd flatterers who spittle licked him to his heart's content; he had a voice like a roaring torre nt, the stench of a seal, the unwashed balls of a Lamia, and the arse of a camel. Our poet did not tremble at the sight of this horrible monster, nor did he dream of gaining him over; and again this very day he is fighting for your good. (vv. 1029 1050) The corresponding section in the parabasis of the Peace is conducted in part in direct quotation of the poet: !"#$% : Y + V (#c%,' O 2B.3!1*+"<' +3 J ( ? 2 Y ( U 7<2, : +,'

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59 O -F ~ .,+-/"<' q .7&2 %#2 F d 932 %" : *# 871*%"#' 4 !8981.8# (#,0 [ 0<.* ? 2 q [ (8#2 [ + O !8#[ 0".0"."BI "<' +, L !. ? %"2 U 2 )9" ,# !)2%32 Y % e % e +,.9,.D("2%# 6 (8#2D%,%,# U 2 O F q ;B, ? 2 iI22$' O +% : 28' d -, !"2 p +,% A 2 ( U +I+J +8;,-, L +"-)+32 V 35" /232 4 -#9 ? 2%" !8. L % K 2 +8;,-&2 ;32 K 2 ( F 8 P 982 9,.)(.,' r -8B."2 %8%" +<1,' ;c+$' ( F q &2 a, 1,' r .98#' O !-I%"<' !.3+% A 2 ( U +, &-"< %"#" W %"2 V ( m 2 %/.,' Y +,%/(8#* F O -F G U G ? 2 !"-8 1N32 O 2%8 : 9"2 O 8 L +, L % ? 2 Q --32 2&*32 € 2 \ 28+, 2<2 L O !"(" W 2,1 "# % K 2 9).#2 G R 8 V + A +, L 2& "2,' 8 P 2,# +, L 7 [ !.D%8. "2 !.)5,' +,% [ 2" W 2 Y 9 L !,-,1*%.,' !8.#2"*% ? 2 !, : (,' 4 !81.32 O -F O .) 82"' % K 2 *+8< K 2 8 Y B Z 4 9c."<2 !, W F O 2#)*,' !D-F 8 Y ;.)2,' !)2%, !,.,*9 m 2 % [ (/"2%, Chorus: Moreover it's not obscure private persons or women that he stages in his com edies; but, bold as Heracles, it's the very greatest whom he attacks, undeterred by the fetid stink of leather or the threats of hearts of mud. He has the right to say, "I am the first who ever dared to go straight for that beast with the sharp te eth and the terrible eyes that flashed lambent fire like those of Cynna, surrounded by a hundred lewd flatterers, who spittle licked him to his heart's content; it had a voice like a roaring torrent, the stench of a seal, the unwashed balls

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60 of a Lamia, and the arse of a camel. I did not recoil in horror at the sight of such a monster, but fought him relentlessly to win your deliverance and that of the islanders." Such are the services which should be graven in your recollection and ent itle me to your thanks. (Aristophanes Peace, vv. 739 816) In each of these selections, the point is made that Aristophanes targets in his comedies the most controversial subjects. By representing his work as an act of heroism, Aristophanes claims for himself a special distinction. The figures which Aristophanes targets are depicted in the parabases of the Knights the Wasps and the Peace as being gruesome monsters, and the parabases pit the poet against these figures. The poet is said "to attack" the se monstrous figures in his comedies on behalf of the Athenian audience.. These "attacks" wield power by discrediting certain influential elements of Athenian society. The parabases of the Wasps and the Peace each make reference to Aristophanes' assault ag ainst Cynna, a renowned prostitute who, in these instances, appears as a mocking epithet for Cleon 28 Aristophanes' claims for himself the honor of having been the first to challenge such an influential figure. For representing the most significant figures in Athenian society in manners that correspond to their inhumanness, Aristophanes earns himself a special distinction as a comedian. The repetition of verses in the parabases of the Wasps and the Peace are indicative of Aristophanes' consistent represent ation of himself. The transition from indirect speech to direct speech in the Peace reflects the frequency of one particular representation of the poet. 28 Aristophanes, Frogs and Other Plays trans. David Barret, ed. Shomit Dutta, Peng uin Group, London 2007, p. 201.

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61 Aristophanes's choruses have already delivered a certain representation of the poet in the previous yea r's Wasps so it is now fitting for the chorus to quote the poet as speaking in the first person. In two consecutive parabases, Aristophanes champions himself on one major point. The poet is twice depicted as priding himself on his treatment of monstrous f igures in Athenian society. This representation of the poet justifies the abuse for which Aristophanes was formerly accused. The parabasis of the Acharnians makes the earliest mention of the accusations against Aristophanes to explain why the poet decides to step forward to say that he is in the right. A new meaning is given to the grotesque representations when Aristophanes represents himself as a hero. Now, the audience can cosider a new personage, that of the comedian. The persona of the comedian is repr esented as a courageous individual who confronts monstrosity on behalf of his audience. In Chapter Three, we will examine in detail the Frogs. This play was produced much later in Aristophanes' career, in the year 405 B.C.E. The play depicts a compe tition between tragic poets who must defend themselves for the quality of their advice to the citizenry of Athens. The Frogs categorizes two of the great tragic poets, Aeschylus and Euripides, in accordance with the times of their careers. In the play's co nclusion, each poet is held accountable for the state of affairs at Athens during the period of their flowering. The play characterizes Aeschylus as being the primary teacher of the Athenians in the first half of the fifth Century B.C.E., while Euripides i s depicted as the teacher of the second half of the fifth century B.C.E.. The Frogs thereby depicts the station of the poet as the most influential station in the city of Athens.

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62 Chapter Three 3.1 The Right Kind of Poet In the previous chapters, we hav e seen Aristophanes represent himself as a just figure concerned with the well being of Athenian society. The comedian defends his poetic representations for their benefits to the Athenian audience. Aristophanes' Frogs (404 B.C.E.) recapitulates his earlie r characterizations of the ideal poet as being an advisor to the Athenian audience. In the Frogs Dionysus, the Athenian god of theatre descends to the underworld to satisfy his craving for a clever tragic poet, Euripides. The play problematizes Dionysus's interest in the poet and more broadly criticizes the act of judging dramatic poetry by depicting a mock dramatic competition between Aeschylus and Euripides. Dionysus and the tragedians attempt to resolve the issue of judging their art by referring the ar bitration of the competition to a single element of dramatic poetry. In a proclamation that echoes the sentiments of Aristophanes' earlier parabases, Dionysus, judge of the dramatic competition, selects Aeschylus to return to the world of the living on the basis of the poet's ability to educate his audience. Chapter Three will consider the Frogs in light of Aristophanes' chronologically sustained and developed characterization of himself as the ideal comic poet. Aristophanes' Frogs (405 B.C.E) is the only extant comedy to feature the god of theatre, Dionysus, as its protagonist. Dionysus was the patron deity of the festivals at which each tragedy and comedy of the Classical period of Athens was performed. At the start of both the Lenaia and the City Dionysi a, a statue of Dionysus was processed toward the stage and placed in the front of

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63 the theatre. 29 By design, the site of the theatre was surrounded by statues and trappings that befit a temple of Dionysus. 30 The second half of the Frogs depicts the god of t heatre as sole judge of a poetic competiton between two of the most notable tragedians in Athenian history, Euripides and Aeschylus. At stake during this competition is the supremacy of Aeschylus as the best tragic poet in Athenian history. Dionysus initia lly travels to the underworld to satisfy his craving for Euripides, but a contest between Aeschylus and Euripides is already under way when the god arrives. Dionysus, by virtue of his divine status, is chosen to be judge of the competition. As both Euripid es and Aeschylus are now dead, the one who Dionysus selects to win is to be granted the right to return to the world of the living. The competition depicts the tragedians defending their work for its value to society. Dionysus eventually decides to selec t Aeschylus according to a single piece of criteria: the quality of his advice to the city of Athens. In this mock competition, the Frogs depicts the essential elements and purposes of poetry as being identical to those of the Aristophanic program for come dy defended in the parabases of Aristophanes' early plays. The best poets are the ones who consider seriously the well being of the Athenian audience. Above, we saw Aristophanes distinguish himself as a comedian on those grounds. In this respect, the Frogs is another testement written by Aristophanes to his own pre eminence as the best kind of comedian. It is important to remember here that each of the plays of Aristophanes, Euripides, and A eschylus were entries in a city wide, government sponsored competit ion. At these competitions, randomly selected judges, all of whom were obligated to swear an oath of impartiality, voted to 29 Haigh, A. E. The Attic Theatre: a Description of the Stage and Theatre of the Athenians, and of the Dramatic Performances at Athens [Whitefish, Mont.]: Kessinger, 2008, p.110 30 Ibid. p. 111

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64 select which poet most ably demonstrated his skill at Dionysus's art of drama. 31 Presumably, the act of giving the award to a certain poet implied that Dionysus himself would be most approving of that poet, were the god willing and able to speak his mind. At the outset of the Frogs Dionysus is personified as having a simple craving for the deceased Euripides, a craving that beckons the god to the underworld to recover the poet. Unexpectedly, the plot follows him until he is forced to make a difficult decision. Who, Euripides or Aeschylus, is the poet most worthy to return to the world of the living to be the leading poet of Athens? The play's conclusion witnesses a long competition between the poets who argue for themselves in a variety of ways. Ultimately, Dionysus announces that the city of Athens is in need of a poet who can act as the wisest advisor (vv. 1418 1424). This criteria cor responds exactly with the defense constructed in Aristophanes' earliest plays. In those works, Aristophanes is described as being a poet who produces comedy so as to advise his city. At the play's start, Dionysus is characterized as a god in want of a ce rtain kind of poet (v. 71). To be specific, he is in want of a poet who is (85#D' The same adjective is used by Aristophanes in the parabasis of the Acharnians to describe his own quality as a poet. In my translation of the parabasis of the Acharnians I translate the term (85#D' as "in the right." Chorus: 4 5 6 78 9"." : *#2 4 ;/*%$+82 %.<7#+" : = (#()*+,-"' > ? 2 @ !3 !,./0$ !. A % A B/,%."2 -/532 C (85#D' 4 *%#2 : (#,0,--D 82"' ( F G A % ? 2 4 9B. ? 2 4 2 H B$2,1"#' %,9<0"I-"#' C +3 J (8 : % K 2 !D-# 2 > ? 2 +, L % A 2 ( M "2 +,B<0.1N8# 31 Eric Csapo and William J. Sla ter, The Context of Ancient Drama p. 158 Csapo, Eric, and William J. Slater. The Context of Ancient Drama Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1995, p. 158.

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6 5 O !"+.12,*B,# (8 : %,# 2<2 L !. A H B$2,1"<' 8%,0"I-"<' (Ar. Ach ., vv. 628 633) Chorus: Ever since our trainer put his hand to comic choruses, not once has he stepped forward with the intention of saying in front of the theatre that he is in the right. But, being discredited by hateful men among the Athenians so hasty in counsel, on the grounds that he makes comedy of our city and insults the people, he now wants to defend himself before th e Athenians of changeable opinions. (Ar. Ach. vv. 628 633) The parabasis of the Acharnians serves one purpose: to demonstrate for the audience exactly how and why the poet of the play is (85#D' or, in the right. In his translation of the Frogs David Barret translates (85#D' i n a manner that conveys specifically the ability of the poet whom Dionysus is craving. 32 "Skillful" and "clever" are also potential translations of the term. The term 's Homeric sense "right" was originally used to describe spatial phenomena, as in "on the right side". It seems that over time, the word (85#D' came to signify "capability" and "correctness", just as we use the term "right" today. At the start of the play, Dionysus deems the most recently deceased tragedian, Euripides, to be one worthy of remembrance. Just how worthy Euripides is of this honor is a question challenged over the course of the play. 32 Aristophanes. Frogs and Other Plays Trans. David Barrett. Ed. Shomit Dutta. London: Penguin, 2007 p. 136

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66 3.2 An Inexplicable Craving (for Poetry) The Frogs follows Dionysus as he seeks to fulfill his desire for the poetry of the recently deceased tragedian, Euripides. Euripides was a contemporary of Aristophanes for two decades (427 406 B.C.E.) until his death the year before the initial production of the Frogs (405 B.C.E.). He regularly performed tragedies during the same festivals at which Aristophanes performed his comedies. Cert ain plays of Aristophanes prior to the Frogs featured Euripides as a character. In the tragedian's numerous appearances, he is most often presented as a ridiculous figure deserving of scorn. We ourselves reviewed Euripides' appearance in the Acharnians in which the tragedian's work is parodied for comic effect. Euripides' most substantial appearance in comedy is found in Aristophanes' Thes mophoriazusae (411 B.C.E.), a play that features Euripides as a primary character. The play's plot is based upon a criticism that the work of Euripides apparently received in its own time: misogyny. In the Thesmophoriazusae, Euripides, fearing for his saf ety, dresses up as a woman so as to infiltrate a private festival reserved for women alone. The tragedian has heard word that the women of Athens are out to get him for his unjust representations of them in his plays (vv. 81 85). The play ends when Euripid es is forced to reveal himself to the women. There, he promises to never again insult women in his later plays (vv. 1160 1161). In the Frogs Dionysus justifies his intention to retrieve Euripides by virtue of the poet's ability. He is apparently capabl e of being the right kind of poet:

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67 Dionysus: I want a clever poet, for the race is now extinct all who survive are bad. (Ar. Frogs v. 71, trans. Eugene O'Neil) In the Frogs however, Dionysus is not represented as an objective judge or even an authority on poetry. The first half of the play depicts certain scenes which problematize the reception of comedy. Particularly, the very first scene between Dionysus and his slave reveals Dionysus's concern for how comedy is conducted on the Athenian stag e. Too often, the god says, are audiences offered nothing for their own gain at the comic festival (v. 18). It is clear that Dionysus's means well. He wants to resurrect a poet of real ability, and his interest has been piqued by Euripides' Andromeda whic h the god was reading aboard a ship (v. 53). As the play proceeds, however, Dionysus's taste for Euripides is challenged briefly by Heracles, who questions Euripides' pre eminence in comparison to the also recently deceased Sophocles. When pressed to defen d his interest in Euripides, the god is unable to offer compelling reasons. Rather than remark on Euripides' value as a poet, the god describes the incident that set him on his journey. Rather than being compelled by a grand purpose, Dionysus describes his interest in Euripides to that of a craving. The god appears at the door of Heracles, the mythical hero who once traveled to and returned from Hades, so that he might learn the best way to get to the underworld. Dionysus: I was on board [the ship], read ing the Andromeda, suddenly a craving smote my heart, you'll never guess how strong.

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68 Heracles: A craving? How big? Dionysus: Small, like Molon. Heracles: For a woman? Dionysus: Oh no. Heracles: A boy? Dionysus: Not at all! Heracles: A man ? Dionysus: Argh! Heracles: You did it with Cleisthenes? Dionysus: Don't make fun, brother, I've really got it bad, Such passionate desire torments me so. Heracles: What is it, little brother? Dionysus: I can't explain. But still I'll try to te ll you in a riddle. Did you ever feel a sudden urge for soup? Heracles: Soup! Yowee! Ten thousand times so far. Dionysus: Have I made it clear, or should I try again? Heracles: Not about the soup, I fully comprehend. Dionysus: Well, just so great a wish gnaws at me now For my Euripides. (vv. 54 67, trans. Matthew Dillon)

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69 Dionysus's interest in Euripides is represented as being not in the least sense high minded or noble. Rather, the god's desire for the poet is likened to one's desire for soup. Within the first one hundred lines of the play, Dionysus's interest in Euripides is brought into question. After Heracles questions Dionysus's choice, Dionysus characterizes Euripides in terms of his criminal personality rather than the educational proper ties of his poetry. Before Dionysus and his slave, Xanthias, even begin their journey, Heracles asks why Dionysus would prefer to retrieve Euripides rather than Euripides's superior, Sophocles. Dionysus: I want a clever poet, for the race is now extinc t all who survive are bad. Heracles: What! Isn't Iophon alive? Dionysus: Well, he's the only good thing left, if he's good at all. I don't even know for sure if that's the case. Heracles: Why don't you bring back Sophocles, Euripides' superior, if you've really got to take one? Dionysus: Not before I take Iophon aside all by himself, and test what he does without Sophocles. Besides, Euripides is such a scoundrel, he might well try to run away with me, but Sophocles was easy going he re, and easy going there as well. (Ar. Frogs vv. 72 82) The Frogs characterizes Dionysus as a god who has a taste for Euripides, but a weak resolution

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70 when he must defend Euripides' actual value as a poet. This scene reveals that Dionysus has not yet reg arded the question of which poet he should choose with much seriousness. The god of theatre justifies his consideration of Euripides by identifying the poet as a scoundrel who would be willing to flee the underworld. Dionysus defends this quality of Euripi des' character rather than defend Euripides' quality as a poet. Additionally, Heracles's estimation of Euripides plays on a conception of the poet that might have been commonly held in Classical Athens, namely, that Euripides's work as a tragedian is clear ly inferior to that of Sophocles. 3.3 Defining Poets by their Audiences The Frogs' distinct second half begins when the ensuing competition between Euripides and Aeschylus is first mentioned. At this point, Pluto's slave, Aeacus, begins to draw clea r lines between the competing tragedians. These distinctions characterize the poets as models for society. Before the comeptition begins, Aeschylus and Euripides are distinguished for the kinds of audiences they attract. Pluto's slave, Aeacus, first charac terizes the audience that the poetry and fame of Euripides has attracted. Euripides attracts the masses of criminals, whereas Aeschylus receives support from a much smaller crowd. Here, we will see Aristophanes draw a clear line between the poets. Euripide s receives his support and popularity from the ignoble

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71 masses, while Aeschylus gets his appreciation from only the best members of the audience. Aeacus and Xanthias begin the second half of the play conversing outside of Pluto's hall where the competition will take place: Aeacus: Big, big trouble's stirring among the dead, and nasty civil war. Xanthias: For what? Aeacus: There is a custom established here, in all the great and noble arts that the best man in his own field of talent gets his m eals in the Town Hall, and the seat next to Pluto... Xanthias: I get it. Aeacus: Until someone wiser in the art arrives than he, and then he must give way. Xanthias: So why has this disturbed Aeschylus? Aeacus: He held the chair of tragedy, a s the mightiest in that art. Xanthias: And who does now? Aeacus: Why, when Euripides came down, he started showing off to the muggers and the pickpockets, parricides, and burglars, and that's the majority in Hades and listening to his speeches pro

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72 and con, and twists and turns, they went crazy and hailed him the wisest. Then he, all excited, claimed the throne where Aeschylus was sitting. Xanthias: And wasn't he bombarded? Aeacus: Lord no, the masses cried out to have a trial, to see which was the better dramatist. Xanthias: The crowd of rascals? Aeacus: Oh yes, as high as heaven. Xanthias: Didn't Aeschylus have others to take his side? Aeacus: The best's a small group, just like here. Xanthias: And what is Pluto planning to do? Aeacus: To hold the contest right away, and a trial and test of their skill. Xanthias: And how is it then that Sophocles didn't claim the throne as well? Aeacus: Lord, no! When he came down here, he went straight up to Aeschylus, took his hand an d kissed him like a brother. He renounced any claim to the throne. And now he's sent word that if Aeschylus wins all well and good, but if Euripides wins, he'll take him on himself. (vv. 761 794) As he recounts for Xanthias the recent events in th e underworld, Aeacus distinguishes Euripides from Aeschylus and Sophocles for the kinds of audiences who favor him. On the one hand, the

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73 masses have been quickly charmed by Euripides, and on the other, Sophocles and Aeschylus seem to have formed an allianc e. Aeacus explains that if Aeschylus should win the competition, Sophocles would offer no complaints, but if Euripides should win, Sophocles would take it upon himself to challenge Euripides. By these means, the Frogs represents two camps of poetry. On the one hand there is the poetry of Sophocles and Aeschylus, and on the other hand there is the poetry of Euripides. The characterization of Euripides here as being instantly charming explains Dionysus's initial interest in the poet. The poetry of Euripides enticed Dionysus at the beginning of the play. However, Dionysus's eventual decision to choose Aeschylus suggests that a more sustained consideration of the real value of poetry inclines one toward the work of Aeschylus. Aeacus's speech reflects the Frog s' broader characterization of Euripides as a competitor in the dramatic festivals of Athens. Euripides is said to behave in a manner that appeals to certain kinds of people within the Athenian populace. The similarities between these kinds of people are l inked by their illicitness. Aeacus characterizes Euripides as having the ability to send muggers, pickpockets, parricides, and burglars, into a frenzy that leads them to render his poetic artistry the most desirable. These sorts of people comprise a majori ty in the underworld, and if this majority is trusted to choose which poet is wisest, they will choose Euripides. Xanthias asks that surely Aeschylus too must have his own supporters in the underworld. Aeacus then educates Xanthias of the ways of the under world by comparing them to those of the world of the living. Aeacus informs Xanthias that poets who are actually worthwhile have a hard time with the masses, while show offs like Euripides are most easily able to charm them. These masses are characterized as criminals. In contrast, poets who are actually good, who are actually useful, are

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74 favored by only a few. This scene problematizes the reception of poetry at Athens. There is a disparity between the best poets and the favor they receive from the major ity. A poet's goodness, his actual quality, does not correspond to his success. Aeacus's words imply that there really is such a thing as a good kind of poet, a useful poet. The Greek of line 783 actually identifies the "few" oligon with the "useful" crhs ton. T he term crhston is the substantive adjective form of the verb crh to have use. Anything that is crhston is simply a thing that has a use. The masses, it seems, are not concerned at all with the utility of their favorite poets. The problem that is i ntroduced by the text here for the audience's consideration is the problem of those who are responsible for making judgments of poetic artistry. The audiences, whom the festival's judges are intended to represent, are here encouraged to be responsible. Alt hough they might easily be pleased by a poet like Euripides, they should not for this reason consider him to be the best. Before the competition goes under way, the two slaves elucidate the issue of the adjudication of poetic art. Not only is there a lack of qualified judges, but there are no standards by which they judge art in the first place. This problem is comically represented by the physical contraptions of scales, rulers, and frames (vv.795 806). Thankfully, Dionysus has appeared right on time. Xanthias: What? They're going to weigh tragedy by the ounce? Aeacus: And they'll bring out rulers and verbal yardsticks, and flexible frames, Xanthias: Then they'll be making bricks?

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75 Aeacus: And bevels and wedges. Because Euripides says he'll t est the plays word by word. Xanthias: I guess Aeschylus is taking it pretty hard. Aeacus: Well, he lowered his head and cast a bullish glance. Xanthias: And who's to be the judge? Aeacus: That was difficult. You'll find a shortage of sophisticated men. Aeschylus didn't get along with the Athenians Xanthias: Maybe he thought most of them were crooks. Aeacus: And he considered the rest trash for judging the essence of poets: so to your master they turned, since he has experience in the ar t. But let's go in; for when masters are in a hurry, it means trouble for us. (vv. 795 813) Aeacus recounts how Aeschylus was apparently at odds with the audiences of his time. He was, perhaps, esteemed as a great poet, but his poetry was perhaps not s o accessible to the common people as that of Euripides. Aeacus says that Aeschylus considered the Athenians to be unfit for the task of judging poets and their work. Let us remember here how the sentiments of Aeschylus, the eventual winner of the mock comp etition of the Frogs correspond to those of the early parabases. The parabasis of the Acharnians is by nature of its rhetoric a defense speech that puts forth its own criteria by which Aristophanes should be judged. Additionally, the parabasis of the

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76 Clou ds is a condemnation of Aristophanes' audience for their inability to see the wisdom of his play. Now in the Frogs Aristophanes is raising the question by which standards poets and their work should be measured. The two different sorts of poets, as they a re here described, bring the question into contention. In the mock competition of the Frogs Euripides and Aeschylus defend themselves with their own words. Euripides defends the fact that his poetry is easily understood by the masses, whereas Aeschylus r ecalls the great men of the past who comprised the audiences of his plays. After Euripides defends the accessibility of his poetry to his audiences, Aeschylus criticizes Euripides for the state of the Athenian audiences of the present day. In these speeche s, both Euripides and Aeschylus represent their poetry as having clear impacts on their audiences. For his first defense, Aeschylus, the eventual winner of the competition, initiates an inspired line of questioning. Aeschylus: I am indignant at this enco unter, and it gripes my guts, if I have to argue against this fellow but so that he can't say I was helpless, Answer me, why should one admire a poet? Euripides: For cleverness, and giving good advice, since we improve the people in the cities. Aeschylus: So if you haven't done this, but turned them from fine and decent types into villains, what will you say you deserve to suffer?

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77 Dionysus: Death: don't ask him. Aeschylus: Consider now what kind of men he [Euripides] first received from me if they were generous and six feet tall, no runaway citizens, no loafers, rascals, like now, nor miscreants, but men who breathed spears and lances, white crested helmets, and headgear, and greaves and sevenfold oxhide tempers. Dionysus: This is really getting bad: he'll crush me with his helmet making. Euripides: And what did you do to teach men to be so noble? Dionysus: Speak, Aeschylus; don't be a stubborn highfalutin' sorehead. Aeschylus: I composed a drama filled with Ma rs. Dionysus: Which one? Aeschylus: The Seven against Thebes Everyone who saw it fell in love with being fierce. Dionysus: That was a bad thing you did, since you made the Thebans more courageous in war. For that at least get whacked. Aeschy lus: You could have trained for this as well, but you weren't so inclined. Then, producing The Persians after that, I taught them

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78 to yearn to beat the enemy; this finest feat did I honor. (vv. 1006 1027) This dialogue implies the theory that dramati c repr esentations inspire audiences to emulate the behaviors that are represented. For instance, Aeschylus above credits himself with the military might of the audiences of his poetry's generation. On the contrary, Euripides defends his poetry's prevailing concern for domestic matters. Euripides: Well, to ponder such things, I instructed these folks here, putting logic in my art and scrutiny, so now they notice everything and know through and through most especially how to run the household bette r than before, and they inquire, "How's this doing? Where's this? Who took that?" (vv. 971 979) Euripides' concern for domestic matters, however, does not earn for him the right of victory. The new tragedian's speech fails address what Aristophanes cl aims to be the most admirable qualitites of a poet. Euripides' poetry might please audiences for its accessibility, but Dionysus ultimately insists that a poet's ability to advise the citizens should determine the winner (vv. 1418 1423). The final debate of the play is settled by Aeschylus' consideration of the disparity between his own time at Athens and the time of Euripides. In the time of Aeschylus, the city of

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79 Athens was on its rise to imperial greatness. Euripides' time, on the other hand, has seen A thens struggle to maintain its empire. Aeschylus asks if good men hold the reins to the city, and Dionysus must concede that good men in fact do not (vv. 1455 1459). When Aeschylus was the leading poet at Athens, his tragedy encouraged the Athenians to bea t their enemies (vv. 1020 1027). Euripides' frequent representations of the affairs of women betray the old beneficial representations of men in wartime. Still, Dionysus's difficulty in choosing attests to the elusive nature of judging dramatic poetry (vv. 1433 1437). The end of the competition focuses on the affairs that concern Athens at present. Both tragedians speak poetically, and Dionysus is not convinced by either candidate. In the end, the most concrete distinction between the two poets lies in the disparity between their times. Aristophanes represents a god who holds the most recent poet responsible for the most recent state of the city of Athens. If we consider Aristophanes' representations of the city reliable, Athens has for a long time been suff ering a rough patch. We have seen how the Frogs dramatizes the reception of tragedy. The Athenian audiences who most rece ntly occupied the city were educated by Euripides, and the play represents them as scoundrels. The Peloponnesian War was wearing away at Athens throughout the careers of both Aristophanes and Euripides. It is only fitting that Aristophanes should represent the Athenian audience as turning for the wors e during Euripides' career to show a correspondence between the state of affairs and th e state of poetry. For the demise of the city, Euripides the poet is ultimately held responsi ble. In regard to Aristophanes' own work, we have seen the comedian defend his choice of content for the results he desires his work to have. In Aristophanes' repr es entation of Euripides, the tragedian' s highest aim is to teach the audience "to notice everything" and "to run the household better." The Frogs, however, was staged in a time

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80 of war, and the city's safety although secure for the time being, had been thr eatened for many years. Aeschylus is chosen to return to the world of the living because of the greatness of the city in his time. Aeschylus the tragedian is given credit for the Athens of his day. Di onysus' selection of a poet means more than the satisfac tion of a craving. After the god and the tragedians agree that the poet is responsible for the education of his audiences, Dionysus must reassess his interest. The god ultimately makes his choice for the well being of the city, because that is the concern of poets, of their poetry, and ultimately of the ir audience s In the final moments of the Frogs Aristophanes represents the reception of poetry in the form of his ideal.

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81 Concluding Remarks The comedy of Aristophanes is devoted entirely to t he characterization of the Athens of his day. The character of Dicaeopolis in the Acharnians and the parabases of Aristophanes' early plays introduce the persona of the comedian into the larger representation of Athens. Upon introducing himself, Aristophan es justifies the things he does as a participant in the city's dramatic festival. He characterizes himself as having the qualitites of a capable and beneficial dramatist. His work abuses real people, and, in response to the people's angry reactions, the po et explains certain reasons behind his abuse, insisting that his audience appreciates those reasons. Ultimately, the comedian's inclusion of himself in his own comedy serves his purposes at competition. Yet, within that competition, Aristophanes argues for himself by asking his audiences to consider the possibility that his comedy might serve important and beneficial purposes. In chapter one, we saw Aristophanes represent himself in the parabasis of the Acharnians as a well meaning comedian. Aristophanes claims that he makes comedy of that which deserves to be represented as ridiculous. The first chapter illustrates how Aristophanes' representation of his system for making comedy is reliable, as the plot of the Acharnians reflects the issues that the parab asis claims Aristophanes' comedy to address. Chapter two illustrates how Aristophanes views comedy as a serious endeavor. It reinforces the Acharnians representation of the character of Aristophanes. Aristophanes repeatedly defends the abusiveness of his comedy in the Wasps and the Peace after the success of the Knights. His comedy making is described as being neither idle nor mean, but as being for

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82 the benefit of his audience. The parabasis of the Acharnians gives deeper meaning to the parabases of these later plays. In the Acharnians, it is argued that Aristophanes makes fun of certain figures to protect his audiences from flattery and deceit. Therefore, Aristophanes' comedy should be regarded as blessing. Throughout his early years, Aristophanes took ex plicit pride in his mockery of real figures. The arguments of his parabases were consistent for at least four continuous years (425 421 B.C.E.). Chapter three illustrates the Frogs' representation of the importance of dramatic poets to society. This repr esentation of drama's role in society reflects Aristophanes' prior representations of his role as a comedian. The play dramatizes the commonalities between poets and their audiences, and holds tragedian responsible for their representations, since audience s will inevitably emulate their representations. The Frogs concludes that the poet's station in society is that of an advisor to the audience. In the works reviewed above, Aristophanes claims that his poetry is designed to be beneficial to the Athenian au dience. Although his comedy is often abusive and grotesque, Aristophanes' parabases create a character who composes comedy for a purpose. Aristophanes never explicitly requests to be recognized for his humor. Instead, he requests to be recognized for the w ork he does for the well being of his audience.

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83 Works Cited Aristophanes. Frogs and Other Plays Trans. David Barrett. Ed. Shomit Dutta. London: Penguin, 2007. Bailey, C. "Who Played Dicaeopolis?" Greek Poetry and Life: Essays Presented to Gilbert M urray on His Seventieth Birthday, 231 234 Freeport, N.Y.: for Libraries, 1967. 231 34. Csapo, Eric, and William J. Slater. The Context of Ancient Drama Ann Arbor: University of Michigan, 1995. Dobrov, Gregory W. The City as Comedy: Society and Represen tation in Athenian Drama Chapel Hill, NC: University of North Carolina, 1997. Haigh, A. E. The Attic Theatre: a Description of the Stage and Theatre of the Athenians, and of the Dramatic Performances at Athens [Whitefish, Mont.]: Kessinger, 2008. Hall iwell, Stephen. "Aristophanes' Apprenticeship." Oxford Readings in Aristophanes New York: Oxford UP, 1996. 98 116. Heath, M. (1987) Euripides' Telephus" Classical Quarterly, 37 Henderson, Jeffrey. Aristophanes Vol. 1. Cambridge: Harvard UP, 1998. Hen derson, Jeffrey. The Maculate Muse: Obscene Language in Attic Comedy New York: Oxford UP, 1991. Hubbard, Thomas K. The Mask of Comedy: Aristophanes and the Intertextual Parabasis Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1991.

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84 MacDowell, Douglas M., and Aristophanes. Arist ophanes: Wasps Oxford: Clarendon, 1971. MacDowell, Douglas M. Aristophanes and Athens: an Introduction to the Plays Oxford: Oxford UP, 1995. Sidwell, Keith C. Aristophanes the Democrat: the Politics of Satirical Comedy during the Peloponnesian War Ca mbridge, UK: Cambridge UP, 2009. Silk, M. S. Aristophanes and the Definition of Comedy Oxford: Oxford UP, 2000. Ste Croix, G. E. M. De. "The Political Outlook of Aristophanes." Oxford Readings in Aristophanes Oxford: Oxford UP, 1996. 42 46. Warner, Rex Thucydides History of the Peloponnesian War Middlesex, England: Penguin, 1972. Winkler, John J., and Froma I. Zeitlin. Nothing to Do with Dionysos?: Athenian Drama in Its Social Context Princeton, NJ: Princeton UP, 1990.


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